The Student News Site of University of Chicago Laboratory High School

U-High Midway

The Student News Site of University of Chicago Laboratory High School

U-High Midway

The Student News Site of University of Chicago Laboratory High School

U-High Midway

Through classes, art teachers aim to grow art appreciation

After alarm, attitude must change

The+Midway+editorial+board+argues+though+lockdown+drills+are+unpleasant%2C+knowing+how+to+act+in+emergency+situations+is+crucial+for+the+safety+of+the+entire+community.
Eliza Dearing
The Midway editorial board argues though lockdown drills are unpleasant, knowing how to act in emergency situations is crucial for the safety of the entire community.

“Run, hide, fight,” a low voice blared through intercoms across the Historic Campus. On Nov. 27, as hundreds of students joined their final class of the day, they heard this terrifying message. Students were sent into a frenzy, scrambling for information and instructions, completely unaware of what to do next. Teachers were sent into panic, trying to initiate the emergency protocol. The campus became lost in the chaos that ensued.

Thankfully, this lockdown was a false alarm. The Historic Campus was safe. A few minutes later, in a muffled voice, the phrase “disregard the previous message” echoed through the speakers. The alerts were a malfunction, the result of a simple human error. 

On Dec. 6, the Lab community participated in another lockdown — a drill that had been planned since before the accidental alerts. This time, community members knew what it was like to be unprepared in these situations and took steps to follow protocols. Despite this, not enough people participated in the drill with the seriousness many experienced days earlier when they believed their lives were at stake.

Though these drills are unpleasant, knowing how to act in emergency situations is crucial for the safety of the entire community. These drills are about life and death, so students should take them seriously. 

Situations with intruders are possibly dangerous and inherently unpredictable. Each classroom or part of the school is unique. A lockdown is not like a fire drill. Everyone should be given more information about how to act in such frightening and uncertain circumstances because not every scenario can be accounted for in a drill. These details — where to hide, what to take, how to react — are immensely significant to the safety of our entire community, yet they remain largely unknown.

Even though these drills interrupt a normal school day, they are the better alternative than chaos when we are unprepared. By teaching every person in the lower, middle and high schools what to do, we prevent people from feeling panic. We can reduce people feeling like it is every person for themselves, which endangers the entire community. 

It is also crucial that alarms be standard across the school. Each place in the school should be checked to confirm the alarm can be easily heard, ensuring that everyone is informed of an issue and can take the appropriate precautions. 

The accidental drill illuminated an issue in our community that we cannot ignore. We don’t know how to act to keep ourselves safe yet must learn the best way to do so. There must be a standard across the campus that students and adults are aware of. We cannot waste time joking around and laughing, even if the alarm turns out to be a mistake. 

Though it is horrible to imagine the possibility of these events, let alone how we as a community would have to react, these are today’s devastating realities. We can’t afford to ignore these drills and need to be aware of the actions we need to take in case a tragic instance occurs and that “run, hide, fight” alarm is real.

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Eliza Dearing, Artist

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    Joe WachowskiDec 15, 2023 at 4:14 pm

    Thank you for this article!

    Reply