Reflections on 7 minutes in the dark

Posted 5/14/24

The announcement came over the school intercom that the school was on lockdown.

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Reflections on 7 minutes in the dark


I was the guest speaker for Clewiston High School Journalism class on the morning of May 13, when an announcement came over the intercom that the school was on lockdown. The announcer quickly added this was an active shooter drill.

The classroom door was already locked. The teacher turned out the classroom lights. Following the teacher’s instructions, I followed approximately a dozen students into a large closet, where we hid in the dark, in silence, for about 7 minutes until the “all clear” sounded.

The students took the drill in stride, just a normal part of the school routine.

When I was their age, there were no fences around my high school campus. The only drills were fire drills, which meant we filed outside for a nice break from classes. We did worry the Soviets might nuke us, but if that happened there was nowhere to hide anyway.

 I am sad today's students growing up in a world where active shooter drills are considered routine.

On behalf of my generation, I apologized to them for leaving them such a chaotic and dangerous world to grow up in.

We should have done better.

We have to do better.