Originally Published in The New York Times
Recently, before the tragedy in Newtown, Conn., the high school I attend had a lockdown drill (lights off, doors closed). No one ever takes these drills seriously. Despite instructions, we feel that it is O.K. to keep talking and not follow protocol, because we believe that the drills are a useless waste of time. I always wonder, What if there actually were a shooter in our school?
The children in Newtown experienced this horror. For all the parents and loved ones affected, no words can dull the pain. We will all grieve, but most of us will forget the incident in a month or less. We must not.
One lesson we must learn from the tragedy is to take these drills seriously. For every facility, school or office, Newtown should serve as a reminder that drills are not a waste of time; they help us be better prepared to ensure our safety and that of others.
West Milford, N.J., Dec. 16, 2012