Duck and cover for a new millennium

During dinner a few nights ago, Zoe let us know that she and her classmates have brushed up on their fire drill protocols and their severe weather (aka tornado) procedures. Pretty routine stuff, until she explained how she and her young colleagues also rehearsed what they are required to do if the alarm goes off indicating an intruder has entered the premises.

I nearly choked on my Pinot!  Intruder in the school drills?!?!?

Is this what’s it’s come down to? Our kids have to be prepared to act when somebody with ill intentions breaches the perimeter? Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad and comforted, knowing that the school leadership is on top of this and is taking precautions for what, unfortunately, has become an all too real part of our kids’ lives – even at the elementary school level.

What’s even more startling – in a good way I suppose – is that Zoe takes it all in stride – like the intruder drill is just another part of the school day like math class and recess (By the way, anybody within the sound of my digital voice for whom business continuity is a job requirement, pick up the phone and call a school principal or two if you want to learn a few things about effectively protecting your people).

I suppose this is no different from what students of the cold war generation had to endure when they were taught to duck under their desks, because we all know that a school desk would have been the perfect shield against a thermonuclear weapon of mass destruction.

So if Zoe and her crew are practicing intruder drills at the elementary school level, does this mean they will be engaging in Dick Marcinko-like close combat maneuvers by the time she reaches middle school?



  1. Keith Flanagan


    What a great find this is!

    I love your style and wit. But on a serious note, it really is something that a school has to cater for this type of event. A sad indictment of the times we live in I guess.

    What will the future look like? Kids demonstrating to the school security force that they’ve cleared their personal waepons prior to entering the building?? That their knives are sheathed and that the grenade pins are fastened securely?

    I hope not.

    I’m now a follower of your blog.

    Best wishes,



  2. thecoachlee

    As a former school board trustee and public educator, schools must be careful because parents will sue at the drop of a pin. Failure to protect is just one area.

    Great perspective as someone who had bomb drills back in the mid 50’s.

    Bigger picture, is what does this say about our society when our greatest threat comes from within our culture and not from outside? But then probably the inside threat has always been the greatest, but usually ignored.


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