School Lockdowns


By Mayra Reyes, Staff Writter

A school Lockdown is an emergency protocol that every school practices to protect the students, and staff from a dangerous threat. According to Google the term ‘lockdown’ can be defined as a state or period in which movement within or access to an area is restricted in the interests of public safety or health. 


My Real life Experience 

     When I was in Paul W. Bell Middle school, during my 7th period science class, they announced that we were having a real school lockdown and it was code red. My teacher hurriedly locked the door and turned off the lights. He told us, “Guys, hide in the closet quietly without making any noise and don’t come out until they say so.”  

   We all did as we were told. I was scared and freaking out, but I saw my friend crying who was hiding in the same closet as me. She was crying because she was worried about her little brother. I told her everything was going to be fine and that her little brother was going to be okay, and then I hugged her. I just wished the teacher could have done better and tried to comfort us, especially my friend.  

    At first everything was normal, but then it hit us. Even though we practice so many school lockdown drills, when it comes to a real situation, you are just trying to figure out what is going to happen.  

    Finally, after like an hour or so they told us that everything was clear and that we could go home, but we could not walk home or anything. It had to be by the bus, or a parent had to come to pick us up. I saw a lot of police officers that day and even dogs. When I got home, I told my mom what happened that day, and I hugged her.  


Do we need lockdown drills 

    Yes, we do need lockdown drills. It is a form of preparation that helps us to be ready for any kind of threat that is present in our school. Jack Schildkraut, a professor of criminal justice at State University of New York Oswego, stated in a December 2021 interview, “We have found that anxiety is lower after participating in a drill compared to before it, and … we have seen across the board. Continued skill mastery, building that muscle memory, so if the very worst day ever comes and their mind goes blank, their body is going to perform the way we need them to perform to stay safe.”   

   On the other hand, lockdowns can leave a negative impact: they can cause stress, anxiety, traumatic symptoms in some students and the staff, and we can lose someone we love and care for.  


Safety Drills during COVID-19  

   Drills during the pandemic were different. They made us practice and follow these new requirements and procedures for our health risk of getting sick.  


Students practicing a school drill and hiding in the Hard corner. Source :

Covid-19 has changed the way we live and how we used to interact. During the pandemic school drills were no exception but there were some moderations that we had to follow: the use of wearing masks, maintaining 6 feet social distancing, the use of hand sanitizer, and to clean out our desks. The staff also had a responsibility to check corridors and exits and ensure all doors were locked. Covid-19 school shooting cases just historically dropped and became less frequent during the pandemic. Everyone focus was on how to stop the spread and develop a vaccine.  


School Safety 

The school and staff’s mark concern are that we students follow the rules and that we are safe. Do I really feel safe in my school? I would say “maybe” One of the reasons I say this is because it is an open campus where intruders can enter from the back of the school or climb the fence. However, there is a police station less than a mile away from the school, which makes it safer for us because they are near us, and they can come here in less than five minutes and deal with the threat. The school makes sure they have control access to who can enter the school and monitor the school surveillance cameras. 


Preparing students  

Parents should introduce school lockdown drills early in life to their children. They should keep it as simple as possible for them, without the scary details, just the basics, so they do not get scared. They should teach them that they must follow directions and listen to their teacher when they need to stay silent, line up or need to hide. It makes the teachers’ work a lot easier so they can do their job and make sure everyone is safe, just in case there is anything dangerous going on. It is important to talk about it because it makes them aware about what things could happen.