Students struggle taking safety seriously

Students+struggle+taking+safety+seriously

Braden Higby, Reporter

Lockdown drills are a means of practicing preparedness in the event of an intruder entering a school. When an announcement has been given, students are told to go into a classroom, lock the doors and close the windows until the drill is over.          

     Recent shootings, however, have raised the question of whether school lockdowns are effective, and if school security should be tightened.

     Of the students interviewed, all reported that they didn’t take lockdowns seriously. They also said that they had been in a lockdown when students weren’t following the procedure. Instructions usually include: go to the nearest room, do not leave for any reason, silence must be maintained and do not use cell phones.

     “I’ve been in a lockdown with so many people who weren’t following the rules. They were playing on their phones and making tons of noise,” said Sr. Andres Ramirez.

     Other students have admitted to not taking the lockdowns seriously, as the repetitiveness can get to their heads.

     “I don’t really take lockdowns seriously. I think that if you keep having them over and over again, it doesn’t mean as much when it ends up not being a drill,” said Jr. Mac Baldwin.

     Schools have been conducting lockdown drills since the ‘Columbine’ massacre in 1999. Many people think that lockdown drills are sufficient. Since the Sandy Hook Elementary school shooting, there have been an average of one school shooting per week or 95 in total.

     “School violence is not on the decline. However, in recent incidents, law enforcement has been receiving tips. For example, on Safe-to-Tell, which allows students to come forward and law enforcement is able to intervene before anyone gets hurt,” said DHS security specialist, Steve Kerchee.

     According to the U.S. Department of Education, in 2013, around three percent of students ages 12–18 reported that they were afraid of being attacked or harmed at school or on the way to and from school during the school year. Since 1995, the percentage of students who reported being afraid of attack or harm at school has dropped nine percent.

     “No, I’m not afraid of school violence. This school feels really safe. It’s a small school, so there’s really nothing to worry about. Everyone knows everyone else,” said Sr. Gaby Serrano.

    Contrary to this opinion, school violence is on the rise. Although there is a huge lapse in public statistics, the National League of Cities stated that in 2012-2013, school violence increased 55 percent in large cities and 41 percent in cities of 100,000 or more. Nearly one-fourth of students in public schools say that they have been the victim of a violent act in school.

     “I know it seems like there are a lot shootings, but I’m not sure if they’re becoming more frequent. Maybe they’re just being publicized,” said Serrano.