The student news site of Arvada West High School

The Westwind

The student news site of Arvada West High School

The Westwind

The student news site of Arvada West High School

The Westwind

Locks, lights lockdown drills


In the state of Colorado there have already been 2 school shootings in 2023, and even though it’s almost the end of the year, drills are so crucial to know what to do when a school shooter enters the building of a community school.

In Jeffco schools, there are only so many lockdown drills to prepare for such a tragic event. The last drill that was held at Arvada West High School was in November 2023. Some students and teachers here at A-West don’t believe it was the most efficient due to how much time it took up and how it was performed.

In general, lockdown drills are effective because they help students to know where to go and what to do if an armed person enters their building. These drills are crucial to the lives of everyone working or learning inside the building, from the staff members to each individual student, and to visitors of the school. 

Due to  how important these drills are, Clark Grose a science teacher at A-West agrees on having lockdown drills at different times in the day, he goes on to talk about, “Absolutely because again if the crazy people that are going to cause harm a lot of times they are former students and they know what the bell schedule is. So they’re not gonna pick a time right in the middle of a period when everybody happens to be in their classrooms.”

Grose supports the idea of having lockdown drills more at different times throughout classes, lunch, and the possibility of passing periods because as he said an armed person usually won’t just pick a time in the middle of class. Lockdown drills in the middle of classes leave students unprepared in the case of a lockdown, even if there’s a video which most students wont see or will panic and forget about what to do in such situations.

It’s important and crucial for students and staff so that they are safe if they were in a stressful situations like a lockdown. Most lockdown drills are performed during the middle of class which isn’t the best when a whole generation of past students know how these lockdown drills work. 

Freshman Braden Dunn comments “I think the one flaw about lockdown drills is that if a student is the shooter they already know what’s happening.” This is such a key point to our safety here at A-West and students, teachers, and visitors feel that there should be different safety protocols to ensure that students are safe. Students, staff and visitors also need to know what to do when someone does know our bell schedule and to be prepared for it.

Grose goes on to talk more on how A-West should have different times for lockdowns, “I have suggested before that we have more than 1 and not only that but have it during passing period, during other times, because it’s not always gonna be at a time where everyone is sitting in a classroom.” 

Although there is the point that this may be not advised, it’s important to our education to feel safe and taking this measure would likely help students in such situations. There is also a very crucial point that it is a very traumatic experience and can make some have an emotional response such as PTSD (Posttraumatic Stress Disorder). And this isn’t the most ideal way for many students and teachers here who suffer from PTSD, so this would be less than adequate.

There is also the idea of wanting a survey, Grose voices, “It would be good to have student input or student survey as to how it went because I told all my classes to it’s like this is your life so if teachers aren’t doing what they are supposed to do then you do what you’re supposed to do. So I think getting more feedback from students on how it went rather than just ‘Gosh everybody was hiding and you know the teacher did well.”

Another improvement would be to ensure that students know where to go inside each classroom when there is a lockdown, as Eryn Balding an anatomy teacher here at A-West comments about how it’s important it is for students to know where to go in class, “It certainly wouldn’t be bad, I know that I at least go to the length of the day that we have a drill I tend to ask everybody in classes I have ‘Hey if you had done the drill in my room would you know where to go?’ So I do think that is something not always explained.”

A survey would be at least one way to solve the issue with students and teachers feeling unsafe so students can improve and know how to be more safe, as well as ensuring that students know were to go. Lockdown drills are so crucial to our community, and it’s so important that students, staff and visitors take them seriously as to help our lives and others. The survey would be one of the many ways to help students, teachers and visitors fix any problems right at the root and ensure the safety if this situation were to happen.

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About the Contributor
Aly Nichols
Aly Nichols, Reporter
Alayna "Aly" Nichols is a freshman and this is her first year on staff. She enjoys theater, writing, and drawing. She is excited and looking forward to writing for her first year at the Westwind and interviewing others.

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