Your lack of participation kills us all

I understand why you may not want to participate in an emergency drill. I can see you feeling it’s a bit much between fire and earthquake drills and lockdown events. Perhaps you think the number of drills your school conducts is far more than needed for the risk of that emergency happening. Or, in the middle of a busy day, you view it as taking away time from your daily duties.

Your lack of participation, however, places all your colleagues and those in their care at risk, especially in active shooter drills. It is also disrespectful. A simple mistake or lack of attention to detail is often the first domino to fall on the way to mass chaos and death. For example, if someone were to leave radios and keys out, someone with nefarious intentions could use them to enter classrooms and other school buildings to harm those inside. You could find yourself vulnerable as well or taken hostage.

Drills Have More Than One Purpose

Many think performing a drill is designed to teach people what to do in an emergency, which is correct. But drills also serve a critical secondary purpose. They unveil unexpected errors in a plan. Doing a drill will reveal if a child on the spectrum has difficulty keeping calm, crisis communication by phone is cumbersome, or doors haven’t been re-keyed in a while. The best of plans can nevertheless have an exploitable hole or two. Plans often stumble in the face of reality. Like former heavyweight champion, Mike Tyson once said, “Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.”

The drill requires full participation to truly test the plan. Remember, you don’t have to be a highly active participant in the drill, but you do need to participate. Taking part allows you to see where the gaps are in the program and in your safety and security. If you don’t test something, you won’t know if it will work when the time comes.

Matt and I put together a video to further explain our thoughts and observations on this issue.

Watch the video

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