The Impact of Lockdown Drills on Students and Teachers

Steve Adubato goes on One-on-One with Nancy Kislin, LCSW, Author of "LOCKDOWN: Talking to Your Kids About School Violence," and Child, Adolescent & Family Therapist, to talk about the social and emotional impact lockdown drills have on children, parents and teachers.

8/30/19 #2244






"We are pleased to be joined by Nancy Kislin, who is the author of a compelling, powerful, and important book. It's called LOCKDOWN: Talking to Your Kids about School Violence. She's also a adolescent and family psychotherapist. Good to see you. Thank you so much for having me. You know, I was... I say fully disclose, I'm gonna fully disclose. We have four children. From eight... our daughter. Mm hmm. 16, 14, and the 26 year old from my first marriage, who is a teacher. All of them talk about this issue. All of them ask questions about it. Mm hmm. First of all, what is the lockdown issue/problem as it relates to schools and parents and kids? What's not being shared here? What's wonderful is that your kids talk about it. What I find is that so many children aren't talking about it at home, and many, many parents just don't know what it is. So it... What's it? So it is... we've come up with, as a country, ways we have to keep our kids safe, right? It's a dangerous world out there. How do we keep our children safe? So people came up with, "Okay, we need to do these monthly lockdown drills." In 32 states around the country we have... it's mandated that once a month, there's lockdown drills. It's the law? In 32 states. Okay, what happens though? So there are several kinds of lockdown drills. There's... the most popular is called lockdown drill. Depending on the school, it'll either have a code red will come over the loudspeaker, or you will hear, "Lockdown! Lockdown!" And that's the code for the teacher to run to the door, open the doorway, gather any kids who are right around, just lock the door, and go through the procedure. It all ends with two things happening. Either the children hiding in a broom closet under desks, many many children all across the country don't know if it's a drill or the real thing. Wait a minute? Hold on! Wait a minute. Nancy, how do they not...? I'm confused. How do they not know if it's a drill or real? How is that not communicated? Because there's a philosophy in our country right now that we need to put our children through this, that it's helpful for them if they don't know if it's a drill or the real thing, because they think it'll help prepare them in case when the shooter does come. As far as I found, there's no research supporting that, and I believe that it's unnecessarily traumatizing a generation of children. But hold on. You're saying there's no evidence, clinical evidence, research, to back it up, but public policy is based on it? The decisions in..."