Writing to you from my classroom, during a lockdown

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Well, how are you all doing? I and my students are doing fine. Two hours ago, just as I was beginning to provide a little background for Prince Hamlet, a voice came over the intercom announcing that our building was on lockdown.

I did what faculty are supposed to do: turned off the lights, made sure the students couldn't be seen from the window in the door, and....well, I couldn't lock the door because this classroom has not yet been upgraded with a door that locks from the inside. So there I stood, between the class and whatever might come through that door, holding my cell phone as if I might, I don't know, brain a gunman with it if necessary. Was my heart pounding? A bit, yes.

We waited in the silence and the dark. And we waited. And waited. After awhile I could hear voices in the hallway, and they did not sound upset. So I decided to just continue class in the dark. I talked, and they responded as best they could, and so it went until the next announcement came, that we were on "light lockdown, and could officially have class but not leave the building. So I let them go on break. Eventually class time was over, so I released them--to the halls at least, though nobody was yet allowed to go outside.

And right at that moment, full lockdown was announced again.  So here we sit.  Some are doing homework, but most are doing what I'm doing: indulging in electronic distraction.

Because we have smart phones and iPads, we know what happened. A burglary was committed somewhere in this small town, apparently the robber is at large, and so all the schools were out on lockdown as a precaution.  And now the police have announced that they're going to lift the lockdown for the college at noon, but for the K-12 schools not until 3:00. That makes no sense to me, but I have to pee, so I'm willing to risk leaving when they let us go.

So anyway, that's what's happening in MY world. Just thought I'd share with the Forumites.

That sounds pretty nerve-racking. If it makes you feel any better, I also need to pee.

These things really are quite unnerving.  The k-12 concerns are always PR/communication and transportation.  Plus, if some wacko is running around looking for a quick way to make a scene, the big yellow bus full of students is a scary easy target...

Wait, they've locked down the schools all over town because a burglar is at large? Do the police have evidence that this person is armed and dangerous?

Where I am, we had a murderer at large close to campus a couple of years ago, in the immediate aftermath of a very violent crime, so I'm not contesting the need for such protocols in all situations, but this seems perhaps disproportionate after a burglary.

Yes, apparently the guy is running around town with a gun or something. As we all left our campus building, I overheard a security guard arguing into his radio that the armed suspect had recently been seen in the area, so why again was the lockdown being lifted? He was not happy about letting us go.

But go I did. Now I'm sitting in my office having a headache. Sitting in that dark classroom, being the only thing between my students and . . . what? Nobody knew. They didn't tell us. We were all literally in the dark, wondering what the hell was happening, and there I was with nothing but a damn cell phone and an unlockable door.

Makes me wish there was something stronger than coffee in my thermos.


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