Year: Sometime in the 90s
Place: Lockhart Elementary School
You knew the drill. You heard the first sounds over the loud speaker and knew exactly what to do. It was either a crawl under the desk or stop, drop, and crawl out the door.
Natural Disaster School Drills
If it were a fire drill, we’d line up quickly outside and then march down to the field to our designated area. Each class was assigned a spot where they would stand and wait to be counted, checked, and returned back to class in an orderly fashion. Then, we’d reflect on what can be improved for next time.
Next time, when there is another drill or God forbid, next time when it’s not a drill but an actual emergency that required us to take quick action and make quick decisions based on our ‘practice’ drills, we’d be ready.
I remember hurriedly crawling under my short desk and looking around at my classmates as we all sat quietly and awaited our instructions. Sometimes I used to think that if a tornado were going to take us or a big wave over the horizon, what exactly is sitting under this desk going to do?
Thankfully, there were never any real fires or tornadoes or tsunamis that ravaged our schools during the school hours. There were however, hurricanes that swept our school away and required us to partake our final year doing double sessions at a different elementary school.
But for the most part, we were readily prepared for natural disasters with all the drills we practiced in school.
It’s a shame now that when my daughter goes to school, in addition to those drills, she will likely have an ‘active shooter’ drill to practice. You know, the drill where they show you what to do when there is a ‘mentally ill’ person on campus with a gun.
Why does she have to do this? Apparently, because there seems to be no answer to the injustices of school shootings other than thoughts and prayers.
New School Drills
I’ve had to watch countless videos each year, to know what to do if there is an active shooter in the workplace. And again, my heart aches and my mind wanders and thinks that if I’m watching this video, so is the person who will likely turn into the active shooter.
Why can’t something else be done before it comes to that?
There has to be a better way. There has to be a ‘real’ solution other than praying for it to get better. Why can’t we get this one right?
Why did it come to the point where instead of preventing the problem (seeing that is it not a natural disaster), we are creating drills to practice for the inevitable time when it becomes a reality in our schools and in our workplaces.
In times like these, I miss the old school drills of sitting up under a desk and watching as my classmates, giggled at our dilemmas of getting our skirts dirty or holding our skirts down, so nobody was look up under it.
Where are these simpler times when drills were so much more easier than the realities we face today? I pray that a change will come sooner rather than later. I never want to stand in the shoes of a parent who has to bury their child.
Do you remember the drills you had to practice in school? Let me know in the comments what was your least favorite part.