Wednesday, December 06, 2006

This Is Not A Drill

The school that I teach at went into lockdown right as the first bell rang. 10 minutes before classes started the police had arrested two students in front of the school building. Parents dropping off their children and all the kids walking in saw two kids belly down on the ground in handcuffs. It was pretty hard to miss. Then the principal announced over the intercom that we were to go into full lockdown.

One of my students said it was the kid in MS-13

"Jesus Christ this has to happen in the classroom where my key doesn't work!" That's what I said as I fought for 5 minutes with a 30 year old door that doesn't like to be locked. I finally got the door to lock tight. I turned the lights off and pulled the shades. I asked my students to be quiet and stay in their seats. (I should have had them stand hiding along the wall with the black board. I covered the windows and they did stay pretty quiet. The classroom that I share a door with didn't line up at the black board either.) Most of my kids listened to iPods quietly. Some played cards (against school rules but I allow it during down time.) Many of my girls knit during class. They knitted and even taught (quietly) one of the boys to knit. (There's a funny blog posting coming on this topic in the next few days.)

There's a TV set in that room but no cable. I turned it on to see if we got anything. We didn't. So I got my wire cutters and some wire out of the stock room and made an antenna. My students were astounded when I got Fox 25 to come in. "You're just like McGiver!" one student said. We watched Fox with the sound off wondering if the lockdown had made the news. It hadn't.

After an hour of this I got pretty bored. I sat at the teachers desk playing video games on my Macintosh. One of my students got up for a tissue and noticed I was playing a first person shooter during the lockdown and said "You're playing Halo during the lockdown!?!" The class laughed. One girl said "That's so awesome, I love you."

An hour and a half after the day should have started the principal announced the end of the lockdown and asked us to wait in the classroom for one of the administration to come in and speak with the class. He said that teachers should turn the lights back on and take the rest of the period to "start a lesson and begin learning". There was a great disturbance in the force as if every student in the school laughed at once. One of the vice-P's came in and told us that it was a false alarm. The reported gun turned out to be a cellphone.

There was no teaching any of my other classes for the rest of the day.

I'd say the only kid who learned anything in any of my classes was the boy who learned how to knit in the dark.

2 Comments:

Blogger Bry said...

Though she did well, I think you were a bit calmer than my mother-in-law-to-be.

I told her: WELCOME TO PUBLIC SCHOOL!

I am of the Columbine generation. At this point kids don't really freak unless they see blood. It's horrible.

Heard one of the kids got tackled by a female cop. Was she at least hot?

Dec 7, 2006, 11:07:00 PM  
Blogger Dean ASC said...

You'd probably think so.

My kids were juniors (thank god it wasn't my SPED freshmen). They saw the kids belly down in handcuffs walking into school and took the lockdown pretty seriously.

One part of the story I didn't say was that I had, by a freak coincidence, one of the administration walkie-talkies and tried to listen to what was going on. There wasn't much radio chatter and what little we heard was in code but they found something that they were looking for at one point.

From what I gather they went around to every classroom where they thought kids that met the description were in and questioned them.

We didn't think there was any Colombine style vendetta going on but we didn't want to be in the middle of anyone who decides to shoot their way out of the building while trying to escape the cops. Thankfully my classroom was on the 2nd floor and the door is right by the stairs. If they wanted out my locked door would have been less attractive then the stairway.

Dec 8, 2006, 12:30:00 AM  

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