Lockdown Drill – Training Kids How to Respond During a Lockdown
A Lockdown drill involves training for kids so that responses are consistent.
What’s different about a lockdown emergency than say a fire drill or earthquake drill? During a lockdown you may not be in the same place at each event or drill. The drill may happen when you are in gym or perhaps at an assembly or even when you run to the bathroom. Now what? We’ve talked about lockdown drills before and gone over what they are: (Link to What are Lockdown drills?)
How do Kids Respond to a Drill?
For kids lockdown drills are somewhat scary. Their responses should be conditioned and they must be practiced over time for that to happen. In a lockdown drill kids should be advised to find a trusted adult and follow their directions. The most common tasks to be aware of are:
Get inside a room, out of the hallways.
Close the shades.
Turn off the lights.
Stay low.Keep quiet.
Do not open the door until instructed to do so by the adult with you.
In the case of an actual emergency lockdown, kids lockdown drills responses may mean they have to rely on themselves. They may have to locate a place to hide and stay out of harm’s way on their own. Teachers and administrators should go over possible hiding places for kids in the event that they are caught outside your purview during the emergency.
Possible Hiding Places
Head to the closest classroom, even if you are not part of the class. Get to the “safe corner” in the classroom or any room. This is the corner of the room where no one can see you if they look through a window.
Find a closet, climb inside and shut the door.
Inside a locker room, climb into an open locker.
In the bathroom, hide in a stall, stand on the toilet and lock the stall door.
Remember these are for use during a real emergency only. Make that very clear to the children when you go over these options with them. In the event of a drill, advise them to find a trusted adult and follow their direction.
Silence is Golden
Keeping quiet is important both during a lockdown drill and an actual emergency lockdown drill. Kids lockdown drills training should include practice in keeping quiet.
Keeping quiet is part of staying hidden.Listen to instructions.
Keeping quiet ensures everyone can hear the instructions.
Kids Stay Close
Kids lockdown drills training includes staying close to classmates and friends. Teach them to take comfort in each other’s presence. Express to the children that they are in a safe space with you and their friends. Tell them if they notice that someone is more afraid then they are, it’s ok to offer comfort like a smile, a pat on the back or even a hug.
Kids lockdown drills training about alarms and the all clear alarm is the last part of what you should go over with them. Explain that until they hear the absolute correct alarm and an adult tells them to exit the safe room they have been in, they should remain right there. Here’s why:
Police do not need them to open the door. They can get in without anyone’s help.
An intruder may set off an alarm to get them to EXIT the classroom or safe space. Don’t fall for it.
The adult with them will tell them when it is safe to EXIT.
If they are not with an adult, remain in place until someone confirms the signal to them, i.e. the police.
With the Active Defender System in use at your school all of these tasks become much easier because you will have the confidence gained when you know who you are communicating with. There is no second-guessing or wondering if someone, an intruder sounded the alarm to trick everyone into exposing themselves. The Active Defender System means that you are in charge.