Should Lockdown Drills be Practiced at Montrose?


Jackson Joyce

Montrose students voice their opinions on having lock down drills.

A question that has been circulating around Montrose in the past few months is: Should Montrose practice lockdown drills like we practice fire drills? In the current world and political climate we live in, school shootings have emerged at intervals in the news. Even one of the most deadly ones, the 2012 Sandy Hook shooting that killed 26 people, happened in New England. Which begs the question: If Montrose regularly practiced lockdown drills, would we as students feel safer?

When talking to Associate Head of School Ms. White about the issue, she said that everything regarding fire drills and lockdown practices is determined by the Medfield Fire Department. Expanding on that, she said the Medfield Fire Department has a schedule of when Montrose practices fire and lockdown drills. The school practices fire drills twice a year and lockdown drills once, most of the time in the spring. With the Covid-19 pandemic though, lockdown drills have been delayed. When asked if the school was going to do a lockdown drill this year, she replied: “We are definitely planning on getting back to a yearly habit of doing it.” 

There are many different opinions on if Montrose should practice lockdown drills. Some think that it would be a waste of time because Montrose is located in the small town of Medfield. Others think that practicing lockdown drills could help prevent further trauma or PTSD (Post-traumatic stress disorder). Some students find the drills anxiety-producing.

People who are not eager to practice lockdown drills think that they could bring up traumatic memories of past school shootings or lockdowns. Scarlett Adler ’24 said: “I think lockdown procedures should be explained but not practiced because it can make a lot of kids really upset. I’ve known a lot of kids to cry during lockdowns.” If students have been in a real lockdown situation in the past, practicing one can bring back flashbacks and become traumatic for them. 

Others believe they are not as important as fire drills, or there is less chance of a lockdown situation happening, especially in the middle of Medfield. Theresa Marcucci’23 said: “A threat that would need a lockdown is not as likely as a fire, especially for such a small school in a small town, especially because Medfield is a pretty relaxed town. But it is still not impossible, so maybe once a year or once every two years just so people have an idea of what to do. Since it might waste time, an explanation of what to do could be given so people aren’t clueless in the event of an emergency.” 

Many believe that it is important to practice lockdowns because it can help the school prepare for the worst. Especially in recent years, it has become more necessary to practice these precautions. Ali Quinn’23 said: “I feel it is important for all students to practice because of many school shootings and break-ins that have unfortunately happened in recent years. There is no situation in which it would be helpful to not practice lockdown drills. I feel as though schools nationwide have had more need for lockdown procedures than fire procedures in recent years, and there’s no reason why we shouldn’t practice both.” According to a study, 177 schools in the US experienced a school shooting since 2009. Without the proper precautions, the school could be caught off guard, which could lead to stress and panic. 

Even in a small school like Montrose, there is still a chance that there could be a need to have a lockdown. It would be important to practice so everyone knows what to do. Lockdown drills can also help ease panic. Kathryn Greene’25 said: “Unexpected and dangerous situations can happen anywhere, even somewhere as safe as Montrose. If a situation ever arose where the students and faculty of the school were in danger, people might not know what to do. Practicing for these situations could help ensure that more people get out of danger unharmed.” If we practiced for lockdowns like we do for fire drills, it could help save everyone from potential risk and ensure everyone in Montrose remains safe.  

In conclusion, there are many different opinions on whether or not Montrose needs to do more lockdown drills. Even with all these different opinions, Montrose is on track to return to doing yearly lockdown drills sometime in the spring, after Covid-19 delays over the past two years. Fire drills help us know what to do in the case of a fire. Likewise, lockdown drills can benefit the students of Montrose by preparing us for the unexpected. 

By Elyse Preston, ‘25 Staff Writer