In her post yesterday on (sigh) bullet-resistant student whiteboards, Liana touched on the question of how to heighten safety precautions in schools without distressing students (not to mention faculty members). In a similar vein, middle school teacher Ariel Sacks recounts her experience of a new lockdown drill that her school has introduced in response to the Newtown shootings:
I was struck by the emotional content of practicing for this kind of threat. The students understood it was just practice, and most schools have some procedure for an 'intruder alert," but I had never been asked to practice before, and none of us had ever imagined the situation as seriously as we did now. We did not act in total seriousness. We followed the procedure correctly and tried to keep the mood light, to balance out the fear the situation invoked. Without going deeper into this topic, I'll just say, it feels like a new era.
What's happening at your school? How are you addressing these very sensitive issues?