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‘This is not a drill’

Student describes tense moments of middle school lockdown

It all started in third period on Tuesday, February 24th while I was in PE learning how to have proper running form when the announcements came over the sound system with important news. “This is not a drill, this is not a drill,” Mr. Peterson’s calm voice repeated. “We are going into lock down this is not a drill.” As soon as that announcement was over everyone’s reaction grew 100% serious. We walked into the locker rooms silent as a mouse with nothing to hear but our heart beats….

Hi this Molly Davis. I am a sixth grader at Valley Center Middle School. For almost 5 years I have been writing a weekly column for The Roadrunner and I am happy to say now I will be writing for the Valley Center Times Advocate. And now back to my story….

We sat on the locker room benches in silence for a little over 30 minutes. Multiple thoughts raced through my mind such as: “Is my family OK? Are the other schools in lock down? What is going on?” I silently prayed for a few minutes and I just watched the clock. We were told that we could talk quietly after 30 minutes of silence. At this point all we knew was that something was going on around town (but I knew that my teacher was hiding the facts). After a half hour we were told that we were not in danger. We played finger games to keep ourselves entertained. We got to know our friends better and we were allowed to use the bathroom because we were in the locker rooms.

Other classes, I was told, had to set up little bathrooms in their classrooms. Classes had to close their blinds, turn off the lights and keep the doors locked. At some point the lights were OK once the school knew our campus would be safe but the lockdown had to keep going as a precaution. I was told by my friends that they were allowed to play on their phones while other classes just kept on teaching and later on played some games. We talked and played games, and some even read for about an hour or two. While we were eating our lunches my friends checked their phones and found out why we were on lockdown. They also received many text messages from their parents and from friends from other classes who were allowed to text during the lockdown. A phone would have been nice to play games on or something to keep me from being bored. The school handed out hot lunches to everyone that wanted one even if you didn’t normally buy a lunch.

So in conclusion we VCMS students did a great job staying quiet and behaving ourselves. The teachers and staff did an amazing job handling us kids and keeping us calm and safe. I am glad that we practice lock downs and I hope that we never have a real one again because they are boring but we did get to miss almost four hours of school!



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