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Mar. 11th, 2003

An email that I just sent my friend Stephanie (regarding the Lock Down drill, etc):

The drill today was very odd. I had Dance during it, so we were all in the Dance studio, seated along the wall with the door on it (the West wall, I believe) so that if someone were to look into the room, they wouldn't be able to see anyone. Part of the reason for the lock down, we were told, is to protect against intruders, both in imaginable cases (such as Laurie Dann and Columbine) and in the yet-unthinkable scenarios. We were very silent and it was eerie. Obviously there were noises from vents or what have you, but had something really been going on, and intruder shooting through halls, or jets flying overhead, it would have been very easy to hear.

They've also established what are called "Accountability Groups" which are for non-emergency, non-threatening acts in which student may need to a) be accounted for and b) have a discussion with other students and teachers. The way I see it, they are like Processing/Dialogue Groups, but only used in cases where they may be needed. The example given to us was for when Erich Ennin (sp?) died, it would have been a good idea to take kids away from classes for a while, and give them a forum to discuss.

A Lock Down can happen anywhere in the building and at any time, but when Accountability Groups are announced, we meet in our homerooms (or third period classes). It works out really well that Company is 3rd, and Akers has joined are group since teacher without an assigned room get placed with a class.

Overall, it's very scary to think that a war could be on the horizon and that precautions like these need to be taken. I mean, telling people to buy duct tape and plastic is one thing, but participating in a drill such as a Lock Down is quite another. It makes me very angry that people, and most notably Bush, are pushing this war so hard. We've been talking about it a lot in Foreign Policy and it seems to me that we are definitely not prepared to go into a war, and I'm still siding with France, Germany, Russia, China and most other countries, or at least people around the world in that I want to see some more inspections before we settle on war. I want to exhaust our peaceful manners before we decide to start destroying the lives of innocent people. I want someone to make Saddam understand that we are serious, without having to go into Iraq with a flame-thrower and I want someone to make Bush understand that there are other needs in the world. He needs to hold the job as both Commander in Chief and as chief citizen, and right now, I want him to be a citizen like me and try to fix the economy. I'd like to see him try and talk with North Korea, since they offered, and at least get one threat out of the way before we start dealing with Saddam. I'd like him to realize that there's something that we as Americans have done to offend a large part of the rest of the world (mostly with our arrogance and egocentrism). I wrote this as part of a Foreign Policy paper:
"Especially in the US, our wealth and opportunities tend to blind us from considering other countries, unless it is to gloat about how we are better. Events like September 11th take us by such surprise and we just don't understand why anyone could hate us and our perfection. And just like that, we've gone and made more enemies. Even our allies can get fed up with the narcissism that we possess and though they would never wish us harm, perhaps they do wish that we may someday understand the types of problems that they have to deal with far more often then once every 50 or 60 years. To paraphrase the speaker we had from Argentina, 'We cheered [at Sept. 11] not because something like that happened, but because maybe it would open your eyes to the rest of the world and see just what others must deal with every day.'"

Comments

dantana
Mar. 12th, 2003 05:55 am (UTC)
Could you please explain what was going on? They have drills at your school for what to do in emergencies, but are they different for different emergencies?

I am happy to see that you're discussing this at school though.
gailmarie
Mar. 12th, 2003 07:46 pm (UTC)
Re:
Well, it's sort of like the difference between any other kinds of drills. We have the typical fire drill, where everyone must evacuate the building. Since I live in the midwest, we also have tornado drills, were everyone moves from classrooms into the halls and line up against the walls (far away from glass that can shatter, etc.) Now we've implecated a lock down, which I'm told is not entirely rare. In a lock down, everyone in a class must move as far from windows as possible and out of sight from someone glancing through the door. The teacher turns off lights and locks the door and everyone basically huddles in a corner in silence until we are told it is clear. This is to remain out of sight from an intruder or whatever. I don't necessarily know if any of these would be appropriate if say, we get attacked with nuclear weapons...but for the less severe threats, it seems an important thing to know so that there is less wasted time and more action if a lock down should be implecated.

Hopefully that cleared up some of your questions. If you want to know more, I'll answer whatever you need.

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