Active shooter drills have a serious aftereffect of traumatizing students, writes Elisa Menendez of ITV. Even teachers have reported high levels of stress during these exercises and are quitting their jobs because of them. Often they lack the training to lead these drills without students becoming traumatized. Many teachers have reported children crying during them. Some groups believe these drills are ineffective at preventing school shootings or saving lives when they do happen. This raises the question of whether exposing children to such an experience is worth it when it can be so deeply unsettling and may not make a significant difference if a shooting does occur.
School lockdown drills are, sadly, a necessary measure to protect students, asserts the National Association of School Psychologists. They are proven to save lives, allowing for a better response to active shooters. While there is a risk of creating distress among children, proper preparation can prevent this. Organizers need to account for factors such as language barriers, student disabilities and conditions like autism that may increase levels of stress. Giving mental health professionals a role in the process can help alleviate stress. Clear communication with students can result in drills that don't frighten them while effectively preparing them for the worst.