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9 Tips for More Effective School Lockdowns

4. All staff should be issued keys, participate in staff development and some form of lockdown drill.

If one door is not locked soon enough because a single employee is unable to lockdown, mass casualties can occur.  It is important to allow staff the tools they need to keep the building secure throughout the school day.  And staff should be given ample practice in physically performing lockdown procedures before a crisis.  As Amanda Ripley outlines in her book “The Unthinkable,” people in a crisis often fail to perform seemingly simple tasks like evacuating a building or going around obstacles when it would be clear to any rational person that action should be taken.  In one example, Ripley describes an airplane accident where a passenger repeatedly pulled on her armrest instead of the emergency door release latch until another passenger reached over to help open the door (at which point the emergency door fell on the first passenger, injuring her and temporarily blocking the exit).

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