Photo from: Ashley Smith on 2/20/2015
School Drills: Are They a Waste of Time?
February 24, 2015
On Friday, February 20th, 2015, at Lake City High School we had a fire drill five minutes into our last period on a B-day. From a senior’s perspective, when I only come for one class on campus, having that ten to fifteen minute time period walking outside, waiting for the all clear, and going back in is a waste of my class time. Also, the first five minutes of class is a time to settle teenagers down and let the class know what they are doing for the period. In Journalism, when we only meet every B-day for the last period, it is hard to get the class going after twenty minutes of waiting for the fire drill.
Whenever the fire alarm would go off in middle school, and during my first couple years at Lake City, the teachers would always tell us to leave our stuff, because we would be right back in. That was for the teachers that knew that it was just a drill, the ones that weren’t sure didn’t say anything and lead the class outside. Everyone else in the hallways will walk slowly and wait to leave the school until we finally get outside. While we wait outside—barely close enough to be far away from a fire that could engulf the whole school—the teachers take roll and hold up either a green or red card. The green card means everyone is accounted for, while the red card means we are missing someone. I asked a fellow classmate, Tre Lewis, how he felt about the fire drill and he said, “It was cold, and it was a waste of time.” In my opinion, if we are going to do fire drills we need to treat them like there is a real fire going on.
Personally, my whole life is in my purse. I have my wallet, keys, license, college books, cell phone, chapstick, USB devices with assignments on it, and sometimes I will bring my laptop if the day calls for it. If there was a real fire I would be bringing my purse, laptop, and books with me, and running down the hall to get out as fast as I could, then I would run as far away from the burning school as I could. Like most seniors this year that have been here at Lake City all four years and were here for our freshman year bomb threat lockdown, they will probably feel the same way. That day we got put into whatever classroom was closest to us, the teachers turned all the lights off, and we were informed to stay silent and turn our cell phones off. After being in lock down for a long time we all had to evacuate the school, and unfortunately for me I had actually put my phone in my locker so I didn’t accidentally pull it out in the middle of class. I was told we cannot stop and we have to leave it. I had my phone, keys, purse, wallet, backpack with all my homework, and all of my volleyball stuff in there on this day. Since I didn’t have my phone and couldn’t remember my parent’s number, I waited until the bomb threat lockdown was completed to go inside and get my stuff. By that point there were only a handful of students left, and all the teachers were there. After experiencing this, and finding out that it was all fake, I was beyond upset and from now on I am bringing all of my stuff with me even if it is a fake fire drill.
Photo from: KMOV under the Creative Commons License
Faculty may see this as useless because we will be right back, but after going through actual fire drills, a bomb threat, and hearing about plenty of bad things happening at school. I only trust myself with my stuff and my safety. Fire drills might be something that is state or city required for a school to do a certain number of times a year, but once you’re in high school, if you do not know how to leave the school when the fire alarm goes off then you shouldn’t be in high school.