An earlier generation hid under desks to avoid falling nuclear bombs; now the threat is more immediate
Peter Sipe, a teacher at Boston Collegiate Charter School in Dorchester, writes about the intruder-alert drills his school now does:
I instructed everyone to move desks toward the wall and tip them to serve as shields. I'd been dreading this drill, expecting chaos or at least alarm. However, the kids performed not only excellently, but ... cheerfully, which took me aback. Then I realized they were reacting with the same joy I'd felt whenever I heard the fire bell. It's that wonderful reminder that boredom's dominion isn't unchallenged in school -- teachers will call in sick, snow can fall on Sunday night and the law mandates fire drills.
My students and I are fortunate to be in a school whose primary concern is our safety. And we're fortunate -- if that is the word -- to know how to run lockdown drills. But my 13th year is indeed unlucky. It's the first I've ever had to teach children how not to get shot. It's the first I've told kids to be still because movement and noise attract attention and the first I've checked to make sure they've concealed themselves as best they could. And as I went from desk to desk, I saw what I don't always remember to see 20 minutes into second period: beautiful children full of life and promise.