Bad Time for a School Drill


Four days after the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., officials at Public School 79 in New York City decided it’d be a good time for a full-blown lockdown drill — with no advance warning. Though P.S. 79 is a high school, not an elementary school, it enrolls about 300 students with special needs (autism, cerebral palsy, severe emotional disorders) who, with teachers, were startled to hear the early-morning loudspeaker blaring, “Shooter [or, possibly, “intruder”], get out, get out, lockdown.” One adult said it took her about five minutes to realize it was only a drill. Still, said another, “It was probably the worst feeling I ever had in my life.”

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