Lockdown Drills for Olathe, KS Elementary Schools
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While I appreciate the districts proactive efforts for the middle and high schools, they are burying their heads in the sand when it comes to the elementary schools. This vulnerable age group does not participate in any lockdown, code red, intruder, etc. drills. The teachers do some training with A.L.I.C.E. but nothing too in depth.
Parents need to start asking questions, getting involved, and not make the mistake of assuming that all of the Olathe schools are proactive with the safety of our students. Blue Valley, Shawnee Mission, and many other districts have their grade school aged students participating in drills, so why isn’t Olathe? After finding this out, I began asking questions and was told that the district didn’t feel the elementary age students were cognitively capable of performing these drills. That is not only unacceptable but also false. According to the National Association of School Psychologists (2017), “frequent and varied practice, training, and discussion activities aid the development of readiness, providing staff and students the means to quickly access and apply their knowledge" (p. 6). Furthermore, according to the NASP (2017), "lockdowns involve locking the door, moving students out of sight, and requiring students to remain quiet within the room" (p.4) and “traditional lockdowns should remain the foundation of an options-based approach..." (p. 1). Finally, the NASP (2017) also stated, “available research supports the effectiveness of lockdown drills implemented according to best practices...” (p. 1). If young children are capable of performing the steps needed for fire and tornado drills, then they are cognitively capable of executing a lockdown type of exercise.
So, let’s make a change to become more proactive with our youngest and most vulnerable citizens. I ask, as a concerned parent, that you, please sign this petition for implementing age-appropriate lockdown drills in the grade schools. I would rather have children prepared than become another statistic as I’m sure the Sandy Hook parents would have wanted too.
National Association of School Psychologists (April 2017). Best practice considerations for schools in active shooter and other armed assailant drills. Retrieved from http://www.nasponline.org/resources-and-publications/resources/school-safety-and-crisis/best-practice-considerations-for-schools-in-active-shooter-and-other-armed-assailant-drills
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