School emergency drills should be more randomized

Brianna Carmack, Opinions Editor

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.

Email This Story

Security has been an issue for dozens of schools worldwide, including Manhattan High. One debated issue is our current lock-down and secure campus system. At the moment, school emergencies happen during class times at Manhattan High, but real life school emergencies are not something that is predictable. They can happen at any time. Although our school does not rehearse this drills outside of class time, it is not the fault of administration that drills are not practiced during class due to nationwide and funding issues.

According to Merriam Webster, the definition of emergency is “an unforeseen combination of circumstances or the resulting state that calls for immediate action.” With school emergency drills only occurring during a 50-minute class time, who will know what to do when it could happen during lunch, before or after school, or even during a passing period?

It is the agreement of The Mentor editorial board that when in practice, drills should be more randomized. There should be more security measures district-wide and there should also be some emphasis on situations that could be considered emergency measures at school on a regular day.

Since drills aren’t practiced at our prerogative, students and possibly teachers will not know how to handle a certain situation if, for example it happened during a passing period. It would not only cause a chaotic environment for everyone to be in but could also cause a numerous amount of people to get hurt. The school avoids practicing drills during other times besides classes to not create chaos, but in the event that this does occur at MHS, we need to be fully prepared and have some knowledge on how to deal with chaos. Yes, the school tries their best to make drills random in a way that won’t interrupt the school day, but if there is a real emergency, the threat is not going to care if it interrupts the school day.

Since we don’t practice school emergencies during randomized times, excluding class times, students are more vulnerable during lunch or passing periods. Purposely creating chaos is a difficult thing to initiate, but it is important that in any situation, we are prepared. This is especially important since the 82 incidents in 2018 are the highest number since 1970, according to We’re at a 6A high school that is in Kansas, but school shootings can happen anywhere.

It’s more than just school shootings though that aren’t practiced seriously by students. Tornado drills are never done in a way to make it serious because of the fact that we all have to shuffle into the bathrooms and other people are stranded in the hallways because there’s no other space when there is, essentially, almost 1,800 students in a school. Even with the recent passing of the bond referendum that plans on making and actual shelter to accommodate everyone, we currently cannot practice in that kind of environment.

Stemming off to the referendum, part of it was increased security not only at MHS but at grade schools and middle schools. This is also a huge threat to grade schools and middles schools, especially since little kids have no idea about how those situations work. High school students, such as us, have the ability to go out and research and are more of free-thinking individuals whereas little kids haven’t gotten to that point yet.

At this point, since there isn’t the security that there should be, we have to basically trust the office in bringing in someone that doesn’t look threatening to their standards.

Currently at MHS, we have five different drills: tornado, fire, evacuation, secure campus and lock-down drills. Although those drills are very important, it is also important that we know how to handle other safety issues, such as medical related problems. In the event that someone has a seizure at school, we won’t all know how to handle that correctly. If we don’t know how to correctly handle the situation, someone will get hurt.

In conclusion, school safety emergencies are never predictable, in which for the safety of our district and community, we should properly know how to correctly take into action for a real-life school emergency.


Print Friendly, PDF & Email