General Etiquette > Family and Children

Safety Drills at school. VERY SENSITIVE

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This involves code red drills. Mods if this is inappropriate I apologize.

I am writing on behalf of my DS.  His school is practicing code red drills.  These practices are in the beginning stages.  The second one was today.  At the end of the practices there will be a unannounced staged drill that will include the local police department and a fake gunman.

The drill today was in a room that was not big enough for all the kids to hide and DS and his friend ended up out in the open with nowhere to hide.  DS and his friend got upset that they were "shot".  They aren't allowed to talk during the drill and it wasn't talked about after the drill because the class period had ended.

DS needs advice on how he can approach staff regarding his concerns.  He will not have this class again until next week and by that time it will be forgotten by the teacher and "unimportant".    He is pretty shy and respects authority but it is really bothering him.

Advice on how to approach this without coming across as a "knowitall kid"  is appreciated.


I'd send a matter of fact email to the principal stating that in classroom xyz during today's code red drill there weren't enough hiding places for all the kids that were in this room at the time. Ask for clarification on how this will be remediesd in the future.

I suspect that one of the purposes of these drills is to identify areas that are vulnerable so that they can be fixed. I hope that the school is also planning a debriefing of the students and staff, maybe with the police department, to answer questions just like this one. Since this is in the beginning stages, I don't think it would be out of line for your son or you to ask the teacher if there will be such a debriefing but it might be premature to offer critique. If he is really emotionally upset by this experience, this needs to be brought to the teacher's and a school counselor's attention. When I've participated in these types of school drills on our university campus, there was a counselor standing by for just this reason.

o_O  how old is your son?  the adults running this just LET them be upset that they 'died'?!

How old is your son?   I think his ability to verbalize his concerns is greatly dependent on that.       I am usually firmly in the "let the student handle it" camp.   But on this one I think you as the parent need to have a conversation with the appropriate members of staff to (1) fully understand the scope of the exercise and the desired outcomes, and (2) to provide feedback onto how it is affecting your son.

As a parent my concern would be that the staff and counselors did not seem to address the fact that sometimes there might not be a hiding place.   A drill of this sort can bring such a realization to a person with as much impact as a freight train and a counselor or other trained staff member should have been available to deal with student concerns and questions.   


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