Approximately every month Burlington High School has a lock down or fire drill. Students are well versed on how these monthly drills usually go. For fire drills students quickly leave the room and exit the building through the nearest door, as for lockdowns students can expect that they will be told to by a teacher huddle in a corner of the room. However in wake of the recent school shootings and spike in gun use, the lockdown protocol has not changed, and the BHS Register is asking “What’s Up With That?”
School shootings like Columbine High School, Virginia Tech, and Sandy Hook Elementary School are cemented in America’s history regarding gun use, and are often brought up in the conversation surrounding the topic. Before the shooting at Columbine High School no school in America had ever participated in a lockdown drill.
“Columbine forced forced us to recognize a whole new ammount of school threats,” David Scibek, a retired police officer and teacher for BTC’s criminal justice program told the Register.
After Columbine American Police Forces developed an emergency response protocol where the officers do not negotiate with the people inside the building, they enter the school and search for the threat.
“In the first few minutes of the response when police officers from all over the area are converging on our campus they will be forming up in teams and going in to find the problem,” Scibek said. “Being out of that way being, dark and silent is going to help them to determine where the threat is.”
While this protocol is common throughout America there are a few BHS students that are unsure of how safe the protocol is. Luci Young, a junior at BHS told the Register that she dose not think the lockdown protocol would keep herself or her classmates safe.
“If a shooter where to come in your school it would not be very effective because in my opinion we are just sitting ducks locked in a dark room hiding in the corner,” she said.
Scibek thinks otherwise.
“Based on what I have seen during drills, I am confident that a lockdown will provide the initial emergency responses the space and focus that they need to go find the problem,” he said.
As for teachers executing their own plan he feels that there is room in the protocol for some flexibility.
“If there is a need to flee and you’ve got to get out of there, please do,” Scibek said. “We don’t want this hard and fast rule to end disastrously.”
So far he is pleased with BHS’ lockdown drills.
“Overall I am impressed I have to say, I understand that there may be individual issues but 95 percent of the folks that participate in a lockdown are squared away,” he said.
“What’s Up With That?” is a bi-weekly column written by Staff Writer Lucy Govoni about strange things at Burlington High School. Send your topic suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org