May 28, 2024
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More Thoughts on Lockdown Culture

A few weeks ago, our school underwent a lockdown that was originally thought to be in response to a security situation in a nearby Jewish school, but later turned out to be a false alarm. In the days following, many students lashed out with anger and fear as to what happened on that day. I can sympathize with that feeling as I, too, underwent that very same lockdown. In a letter published almost a month ago (“It’s Time For Change,” March 29, 2018) a fellow high school student asked “What have we come to that we have to scare children in order to keep them safe? What have we come to that we need lockdown drills every week?” In our current society, many of us teens feel as if there is the constant threat looming over them of being those children hiding in their classroom, quickly texting their parents that they love them. But we must put this horrible fear into perspective.

An article published in March in the Washington Post, entitled “School Shootings Are Extraordinarily Rare. Why Is Fear of Them Driving Policy?” states that the chances of a student dying in a mass shooting are 1 in 614,000,000. To put that in perspective, the chances of winning the lottery are 1 in 14,000,000. While these shootings are so evidently rare, I still sympathize with the fear of being involved in one. This fear, or a manifestation of it, has been existent throughout history, regardless of how rare it may be. But, even though these threats are rare, we still must exercise caution with that slight chance—so, we have lockdown drills. Just like during the Cold War, when the threat of a nuclear holocaust was ever so real, and students had to practice hiding under their desks, we too must fight the challenges of our generation.

A fellow high school student sent in a letter (“A Different Perspective on Lockdowns,” April 12, 2018), in response to the original letter. In it, he pointed out that we have lockdowns because we live in an imperfect world. This has been true since the beginning of time, when Kayin killed Hevel. From that moment and on, murder has been ever apparent in human society. It is not preposterous to say that as long as humans have free will there will be murder. The only thing that has changed are the methods in which this terrible act is committed. While our technology has wrought some terrible weapons, it also has brought along methods in which to stop them. Though these weapons can be used for horrific acts, the potential for them to be used for the good outweighs that of bad. Think of how many lives have been bettered because a few revolutionaries in the eighteenth century decided to fight back—with military-grade weapons. Every generation faces its challenges, and regardless of how rare it may be, the fear is ever still present.

Yoni Spivak

Sophomore, Heichal HaTorah

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