We should run, not hide during a lockdown


Evan Stegenga

“Unpopular Opinions” are exactly that. These opinions are those of the authors alone, and do not represent the opinions of The Lasso or of George Mason High School.

In the event of a school shooting, anyone in the building would probably have short notice to go into lockdown procedures. Lockdown drills teach students how and where to hide in the school, but if there was a school shooter in the building, I would rather take my chances and run.

According to Principal Matt Hills, due to recent events, the administration is looking to change current lockdown drill procedures. Mr. Hills said that the administration is looking into an active shooter drill, but the administration needs permission from the Falls Church Police Department and other administrative branches. I think that this is a better step than a lockdown drill for a school shooting because it mirrors the real life events better than the lockdown drill.

A student has a better chance of surviving by running rather than hiding. Of course I wouldn’t run through the school, but I would be able to run to the nearest exit to safely leave the building.

During a lockdown drill, students and teachers are required to keep away from all windows and  hide in a corner or sheltered area of the room. However, if everyone is in one area, then the shooter could shoot off the doorknob, which only takes one bullet, and kill that whole crowd of people. This exact situation occurred in the 2012 Sandy Hook shooting, when the school went into lockdown.

If we are all hiding in one spot in a room, then we are like sitting ducks. In the Columbine Massacre, students that were in the lunchroom and library got under the tables and were not protected.

Some may say that lockdowns are effective because during some school shootings, locking down the school has worked. Schools choose to do this because the shooter has a very limited amount of time. If a door is locked, it is thought that the shooter is just going to move on because they don’t have a lot of time. However, there have been many fatal shootings, such as the Columbine and Sandy Hook shooting, where the system failed the students and teachers. Plus, in most cases, the students are not in a classroom at the time and it happens during a lunch period when many students are exposed.

If students were trained in drills to run for the nearest exit, then the death toll during these shootings could be lower. If students were able to jump out of a window or escape from their classrooms, the shooter would walk into a room with no students and leave to keep searching. This would give students and teachers just a few more minutes to escape and call 911.

In order to stop all of the fatalities in school shootings, high schools need to be able to tell the students to run and get out in order to survive. Personally I would like to test my luck by running and escaping rather than waiting for the chaos and madness to end and hoping for the best.