Day 20/180: More nomenclature and active shooter drill info
These short Wednesdays are kinda nice to get some work done. The kids are actually pretty “on” in class, since they’ll be done soon (i.e., it’s good for taking notes and for drills on naming compounds). I also get some stuff done in the afternoon, especially now that I have internet access, and can get to things like grades. So, the kiddies worked on nomenclature practice, and I made sure to talk to every single kid in the room. Man, I’ve missed this.
The required staff meeting, however, started spinning my head-wheels. The information was around what will happen during next week’s live shooter drill. The principal started with, “it’s insane that we are having this, but it’s now a fact of life.”
Next week’s drill is no joke. There will be police department actors as a “shooter” and “injured students” (in make-up too). The “shooter” and regular police will have air soft guns. The fire department/first responders are also training with us. We, while not required to participate, will have to sign safety waivers and wear safety glasses during the drill. If it’s too intense, we can opt out at any time and observe from a pre-determined point.
When I started teaching 10 years ago, I figured that the worst job hazard I’d have was 12 Molar sodium hydroxide, not a gunman. The latter scares me much more, and I have been burned by the hydroxide, both on my skin and my in nasal passages.
I’ve been in a lock-down before. My second year of teaching, I was with my 36 freshmen, when the “danger words” were spoken over the PA. We locked our doors and checked our email while pretending that nothing was wrong. The email said that the local police were pursuing a possibly-armed suspect, and he might have been heading our direction. Draw the shades, stay away from the windows, and no kids allowed out of classrooms until further notice. I don’t think I was supposed to, but I told the kids the contents of the email, to suppress rumors and over-active imaginations. Fortunately, the suspect was not near us, and, after more than an hour, we were allowed to let kids go.
I can keep calm with 36 kids and Bunsen burners, but that lockdown really creeped me out. And nothing even happened.
When people talk about needing more guns in a society of lots of guns, I just don’t understand. Normalizing the gun culture of our country, making it so that we talk about what to do when a shooter comes, rather than if some terrible thing happens… I have a real problem with this. I’d much rather that my students concentrate on drills for nomenclature than drills for flying bullets.