School shootings remind students to take safety drills seriously


Nika Lobykina

Many students pass “The Big Five Safety Protocol” posters in the hall every day and think nothing of them.

Nika Lobykina, Staff Writer

With school shootings and terror threats making a daily appearance on the news nowadays, schools are facing increasing pressure to develop new safety protocols that are effective and provide protection.

Schools around the U.S. like Carlmont are working regularly to implement plans like these to prepare their students and faculty in case of an emergency. One of the ways many schools ensure that this will happen is by regularly executing safety drills.

The safety team meets weekly to plan and discuss drills. Planning includes getting information out to the staff, empowering the individuals with specific roles and responsibilities, and then going ahead with the drill,” said Gregg Patner, Carlmont’s administrative vice principal. “There is a bit of work involved in making a drill happen.”

The school drills Carlmont effectuates are based around what’s known as “The Big 5,” an emergency plan that’s been implemented by the schools in San Mateo County. It incorporates the safety plans and rules that allow schools to have direct communication with authorities, parents, and members within the community during an emergency.

Not all students, however, see the drills as a time to learn about or prepare for the inevitable.

“I think schools try to make [drills] as educational as possible and provide as much practice as they can, but I don’t think that students take it very seriously. Most just see it as a time to mess around with friends in class,” said Olivia Barba, a junior.

Still, under some circumstances, students feel that school drills are unfortunately more relevant and necessary than they would like.

“Last year when all the shootings were going on around different schools and then we had those drills, students really started to take them really seriously because they’d realized that it could actually happen at this school too, unlike before,” sophomore Nicole Doud said.

The school administrations walk a fine line between making sure students are prepared for worst case scenarios without scaring them too much.

These are difficult issues to deal with, but it’s important to remember that schools, including Carlmont, are consistently finding ways to solve them as best a possible. 

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