While lockdown drills have become common practice in most schools, COVID-19 posed new concerns in regards to the proper way to ensure school safety. This forced many schools to rethink their approach to school lockdowns and consider the ways the pandemic has affected lockdown protocols moving forward.
1. Crowding Issues
One of the primary concerns for school lockdowns post COVID-19 is that lockdowns encourage students to crowd together as closely as possible. The opposite, however, is true of proper pandemic protocols, presenting concerns on how to both keep students apart and prevent their separation from drawing the attention of a school intruder.
2. Unequal Concerns Across Demographics
Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic affects certain demographics such as Black and Hispanic communities more so than traditionally white districts. This forces schools that cater to these demographics to weigh the threat of the pandemic against the increased potential for school invasion or violence when determining an effective back-to-school plan.
3. New Lockdown Drills
For better or worse, the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the reasons school lockdown procedures are necessary. The use of the same term for both pandemic and violent threats, however, has encouraged schools to reconsider the use of the term “lockdown drills” to refer to preparation for both viral threats and physical ones.
COVID-19 has brought many changes to the country, including the way schools approach lockdown procedures. Moving forward, districts must find a way to combat external threats without jeopardizing the physical or mental health of their students and employees.