Just (Emergency) Drillin’

by Ashley Moh

Fire Drilla

As I sit in class, wondering when the bell will ring, another sound suddenly blares from inside and outside of the classroom.

Students cheer like it’s the last day of school and take their sweet time walking out of class. Massive waves of students lazily make their way down the staircases and squeeze their way out of the exit doors. Teachers litter the streets, tightly clutching their attendance sheet while the administrators create a small human barrier at the crossing zone on Bay Street. As we arrive on the football field, crowds of students shuffle all around the field.

When I reach the 25 yard line closest to Francisco Street, I look to my left and see Mr. Grimm’s Chemistry class scrambling to write their Do Now’s on the rough surface of their backpacks. I look a little over to my right and see Mr. Roman’s class squinting at their assigned reading books. I peek behind me and see students leaving their class to go meet in the middle of the field to hang out with their friends.

Personally, I love fire drills. The excitement of a possible disaster so close by and the very slight probability of juicy details on what happened or who did it, keeps me on my toes. I’m not alone.

“I pray for them every time I have a math test,” says senior Max Hirschfeld.

In addition to the excitement of fire drills, they also count as a nice break for everyone, even if it’s taking away from “precious instructional time.”

But despite it’s popularity with students, it only emphasizes how people treat fire drills as a big joke. A few days ago, I read an article on making fire drills more effective. Since they already take a while, why not make it a little more challenging and fun? Blocking certain stairways and exits during a drill would be an effective way for students to take fire drills a little more seriously because in real life situations, certain exits might not always be available. It’s a more realistic and stimulating way to engage students in fire safety rather than just leaving class to stand on a field for 10 minutes and taking another 10 to get back to class.

We all know that if a fire happened in real life, people would probably not exit in an orderly fashion. People would scramble to get their personal belongings, run out of the building without their class, and many other mishaps that lead to chaos.

Schools should do everything in its power to keep students prepared for any and all situations. Fires, earthquakes, even shootings. In a way, schools shelter the people of the future. It is in the best interest for them (and us) that we are prepared for anything.

Fire drills are an easy drill, once or twice a year, to keep everyone on their heels and ready to react. It’s a worthwhile activity to plan because in real life situations, things won’t always go the way we plan it. Instead of students strolling in and out of class during fire drills, why not use that valuable time in a more engaging, creative and realistic way?

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