Code Red.

J bounced into the classroom. “We had Code Red Drill today!”
“Really? What is that?”
“The principal says ‘Code Red’ on the announcer thing. We all close the curtain and hide! And David locks the doors!” Whatever it was, it was exciting.

In the ensuing conversation between J, A, and myself, I discovered that schools drill the kids now for Columbine-esque situations. Maybe estranged parents? Each classroom goes into immediate lockdown and the kids get out of line-of-sight from doors or windows. Since there is also Code Yellow (stranger on the grounds, but not yet in the building), I can only assume that these Codes have a number of functions. A’s school, out there in the forest at UBC, apparently uses Code Yellow for ‘dangerous animals’. In my many years of traipsing through those woods at all times of day and night, I have never encountered anything more dangerous than a drunk frat boy.

Both boys agree that Code Reds are really exciting. Remember fire drills, where you had to line up and someone counted everyone, and you waited outside in the rain for the school bell to ring three times? Boring. (Until Tara and I invented the Fire Polka in Grade Ten, anyhow.) But Code Reds are like espionage! You hide! There’s lockdown!

I like that the kids aren’t bothered by what could potentially be a very scary situation. They’re resilient like that. But I hate the fact that they need drilling for things like hostile strangers in the building or on the grounds. Hate it a lot.

4 Comments to “Code Red.”

  1. By Beth, March 31, 2010 @ 6:39 pm

    We hadn’t had our drill for lockdown when we had to do it.
    There was a robbery around noon downtown West Van, the thieves headed by car up our way and then ditched the car due to road blocks. We had to call kids in early from lunch recess.
    We had police with dogs combing the grounds and helicopters circling overhead. We had to keep the kids in class, curtains closed, lights off, classroom doors locked. Teachers didn’t have all the facts but had to keep the kids calm and feeling safe.
    The big brass later came to thank us on how well we handled the situation.
    Some kids were excited, some were scared. But it really made for great writing after the fact. That’s when the fact became the story of our collective adventure!

  2. By Stephanie, March 31, 2010 @ 8:52 pm

    Most importantly, did you get to say, “Did you order the Code Red? DID YOU ORDER THE CODE RED?!” I’d love to say that.

    I agree though, about the need for things like scary drills. Yuck.

  3. By Liz, March 31, 2010 @ 9:41 pm

    Beth, that would have been so, SO scary. Drama makes good stories, though. Especially multi-stranded. But still, before you had the drill and even could give the kids a little background? Too scary.

    Stephanie, I would love that as well. I am going to do that the next time E orders something in a restaurant, or even orders a beer. He will get tire3d of it long before I do!

  4. By Robin, April 8, 2010 @ 11:41 am

    My 5 year old went through her first lockdown drill this winter and it scared the crap out of her. I know they need for the kids to take it seriously. However, I wish the could have sugar coated it just a little bit for the k’s.

    Funny story from my school years. I lived in SF until 6th grade when we moved to VA. In SF, we had combo earthquake & firedrills. So, the first time the bell goes off for a firedrill in VA, I immediately go under my desk. The teacher freaked! I was like “earthquake drill!” As if my long hair and bell bottom jeans weren’t enough to make me an outsider. that mistake cinched the deal.

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