Intruder Drills Elicit Relief, Anxiety

Hannah Thompson, Staff Writer

The school district has responded to the recent increase in gun violence in schools by instituting more frequent and thorough intruder drills.  But what we have not discussed is how the drills affect the students and their mental health.

Last Thursday, ten minutes were designated every hour for teachers to explain and execute the procedure for a code stay drill.

Senior Shivani Greene said that each drill was necessary.  According to Greene, all of her teachers had different and notable information to share about how the safety measures would be enacted during an intruder crisis situation.

Freshman Maddox Karnes explained that while the drills are necessary, they make him more inclined to stress about how realistic a possible emergency situation may be.

“The drills intend to help us feel more prepared, but doing them makes me think about how the real thing could happen to me or someone I know,” he said.  “It is crazy how normalized these issues have become.”

Unlike Karnes, the drills did not have as much of an effect on senior Jacqueline Anderson.

“The drills didn’t stress me out any more than just knowing about it in general,” she said.

The intruder drills also impact the parents of students, which Junior Brynn Miracle learned when she discussed the recent drills with her parents.

“They said that they are glad that we’re doing [the drills], but at the same time [they] are scared of how necessary they are now,” Miracle said.

Stacy Schulte, the media secretary, has noticed that the students have been taking the drills more seriously this year than in the past.

She believes that violence in our school is becoming more possible.  Doing the drills eases her stress about a possible crisis situation due to the fact that, at the very least, the students and faculty would know what to do.

Math teacher Angela VanBuskirk has changed some of her classroom policies in response to increased violence in schools.  She now has students sign out in order to leave the room.

“It doesn’t obsess me, but I think that have made me think differently than I did when I was a first year teacher in terms of letting people into my classroom,” she said.  “The idea that it could happen here has become more real.”

Mrs. VanBuskirk believes that it is vital that thorough intruder drills are carried out in schools.

“I want to see the drills done in every school district in the nation,” she said.