Monday, March 10, 2008

Let's "Lockdown" Some Thoughts on Something Other Than the Superintendent

We need a break from the intense discussion and debate over a new APS superintendent. We need to move on to something lighter and more fun.

So let's talk about the "lockdown" at Jefferson Middle School instead. (sorry, "story" no longer on crawl at top of what is, arguably, the single-worst webpage in the entire "Internets", included)

No, despite what you might think or read, I was not the "irate person" responsible for the "lockdown". Those rumors are nothing but that, rumors.

Actually, today was my first "lockdown" in 14+ years of teaching. I'm sure I'm not supposed to go into details because of "confidentiality" or it being "a police matter", and that's fine because I don't really know much besides I had to lock the door to my classroom and close the blinds. Then about a half-hour passed and I could open the blinds again.

One thing I did notice is that there are some teachers who think about this "lockdown" stuff alot, especially late at night in their nightmares. The looks on some faces were far more troubling than the "lockdown" itself.

I'll just leave it at "fortunately, everything turned out alright". I knew I'd been dancing between the "lockdown" rain drops and it was just a matter of time before my school had one. I'm also sure at least one ABQ resident has seen mention of this situation and thought "man, that Jefferson Middle School really is going downhill".

Oh well, at least it provided a change of pace from obsessing about the superintendent situation.

P.S.: All day before "lockdown" it was impossible not to notice the general cheery disposition of our, generally surly, teaching staff. I'm sure much of it had to do with the end of standardized testing, but I also saw a special gleam in the eyes of many who were really glad Linda Sink didn't get the job. Winston Brooks seemed like a pretty popular choice among those I talked to, not to mention the shock that it wasn't our "interim" super.


Kelsey Atherton said...

The Jefferson webpage crashed my browser twice before I gave up, earning it's place as worst website ever over competition Albuquerque High, which sports the "you need this version of netscape navigator" floating window of doom.

But that is trivia, relative to lockdowns. Every public school I've attened that wasn't Bandelier elementary had multiples, and they were always dull affairs that just felt over-hyped and foolishly paranoid. Being one of those who likes to overthink things, I remember during the drills plotting out how, since it was the same procedure every time, it'd be really easy to plan for a lot of unpleasantness. But I guess it's still better to have the drills, and just trust that the crazies will not have done the requisite homework beforehand.

Actually, I'm just going to settle on lockdown procedures as an outstanding pillar of what APS can do well (and not just in the 'herding children' mindset), and say that further attention could only make things worse, as, well, as all of APS history ably demonstrates

Anonymous said...

Lockdowns are very routine - However, several elementary schools need to practice "reverse lockdowns." (Like mid. and high schools drill during passing periods).
How do you get off the playground, and where will you shelter and lockdown? How do you do this quickly and effectively?
A couple schools line them up outside to wait for their teacher. YIKES! I'm sure serveral don't even bother drilling this at all.

The really fun thing to think about, when lying in bed - is where are the holes in my daughters' school lockdown plans? Amazing the things you find if you look at it from a different perspective. You can really lose sleep over this. Can you tell I have?

ched macquigg said...

I got in a great deal of trouble with the APS when I blew the whistle on falsified fired drill records and unpracticed fire drills at Hoover Middle School under Wayne Knight.

That was back when Larry Barker was still allowed to investigate the APS,
and he did a great expose.

Anonymous said...

Wow- Ched, I went to Hoover in the early 80s and I have no memory of where we went for a fire drill. Knight was not the Principal back then.
I have memories of fire drills in Elem. and HS, but not one memory of Hoover drills. I can imagine where we would have been routed, but I don't recall ever doing it. Hmmm. I gotta ask some friends.