Students should take intruder drills more seriously

With an increase in district-mandated intruder drills, students should recognize the importance of preparing for a worst case scenario

Steven Curto, JagWire A&E Editor

Over the loudspeaker,  you hear Officer Mo’s voice echo through the halls and the classrooms telling everyone that there’s an active shooter in a-hall. Students able to evacuate run around aimlessly in every direction. Other students arm themselves with chairs, scissors and books. No one knows what to do and where to go. This is what could happen if we had an active shooter at Mill Valley, since most students don’t pay attention and take intruder drills seriously.

During drills, I have noticed students walking out of the school in a slow fashion, despite having teachers directing them to run to the their designated meet-up location. Many students also tend to laugh and Snapchat with their friends instead of paying attention to the school intercom and their teacher’s directions. For example, at our intruder drill on Wednesday, Sept. 19, many students displayed many of these inattentive actions. Active-shooter drills and intruder drills may just be for practice, but they’re necessary and need to be taken seriously.

This issue isn’t new; intruder drills or active-shooter drills have taken place in school all across America since the Columbine school shooting in 1999. In 2017 alone, there were 44 shootings in elementary and secondary schools, resulting in 25 deaths and 60 injuries.  There has never been a more pertinent time in history to prioritize and take intruder drills seriously.

In the 2003-04 school year, the National Center for Education Statistics found that around 46.5 percent of all public schools had conducted active shooter drills. In 2013-14, a year after Sandy Hook school shooting, that figure had climbed to nearly 70.3 percent. The most recent data for the 2015-16 school year shows that an astounding 94.6 percent of schools conducted some form of an intruder drill, and a total of 32 states after Columbine have passed laws requiring schools to conduct lockdown drills or some form of an emergency drill. The state of Kansas will be requiring a total of nine crisis drills, after Bill 109 was passed on July 1, 2018. Schools across the country are starting to recognize the importance of conducting intruder drills, but students are not, which is very upsetting and frustrating.

When students fail to participate and take active-shooter drills and intruder drills seriously, they’re risking their own life in the event of an actual emergency. Phillip Timothy, a seventh grade teacher in San Francisco, wrote about active-shooter drills in a viral Facebook post. In his post, Timothy said, “I will try to keep the children quiet during our drill on Tuesday. I’ll try to keep them quiet, because we hope that this will give that illusion of an empty classroom. I will try to keep them quiet because even though I know it’s a drill, they do not, and they need to treat each drill like the real thing.”

Intruder drills need to be taken more seriously, because at any point a drill can become real. If you don’t know what you’re doing during an actual event, than you risk your life and possibly the lives of others.


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