Editorial: Students need to take safety precautions seriously
The fire alarm rings and students walk out of their classes laughing, texting or gaming. Nobody realizes that if they took the drills seriously, they would be better prepared to survive in an emergency.
Students have been taught how to escape in a fire, survive in a tornado, and barricade in a lockdown, but do students simply go through the motions? They tell themselves emergency situations do not happen in our school. They tell themselves these are simply drills. Unfortunately, drills can become more than drills in a single instant.
Accidents happen. Accidents can also lead to emergencies. One example of this is a fire. Students mindlessly walk to the nearest exit during monthly fire drills. This does not allow students to think on their feet like they would in a fight-or-flight situation. These drills can be improved in a multitude of ways. First, by increasing the frequency of these drills in each period, students will be able to search for a way out of the school so many times that they no longer question where to go. Secondly, teachers should not alert students that there is a fire drill beforehand. This is a way to make students take the drill more seriously. Finally, members of the faculty could block off certain sections of the school as if a real fire were there. This disrupts the monotony of the fire drill because students need to find a new way out of the building.
Tornado drills can also be improved. As of now, most students slowly walk to their spots in the hallway and talk about how they get five minutes out of class. By increasing the number of drills done and decreasing the amount of time students have to report to their locations, students will be more focused on them.
Maybe more than any other, lockdown drills can and should be improved. Having a dangerous person near or inside the building can be devastating to a class, school, and community. Students and faculty have to realize how important the practice of this situation is. Students are told that in a real situation, they are to blockade the doors, find something to protect themselves with, and make it seem as if they are not even there. If all else fails, they are told to run. Students should talk to their fourth period teachers so they know where to meet in case of an emergency. We do not practice any of these things. We have never practiced supervised escapes or blockading a classroom door. Bad things happen when people freeze in terror. By not practicing the real thing, we are setting ourselves up to freeze when that alert goes out.
Propping open doors is a major instance of students not taking security seriously. The administration and tax payers paid an enormous amount of money for security features we have, but when students leave doors open for their friends or open doors for people they do not know, they are making the security useless. This translate to visitors coming into the school through the office. Administration can perform bag checks for outside visitors to eliminate worry of harmful things making their way into the school.
Our building is a safe place, but our school is only as safe as we choose to make it.