Fire drills, Earthquake Drills and Lockdown Drills: Why Lockdowns are Necessary in Oakland Schools

Fire drills, Earthquake Drills and Lockdown Drills: Why Lockdowns are Necessary in Oakland Schools

There are at least three different elementary, middle and high schools within a mile radius of this street sign.

There are at least three different elementary, middle and high schools within a mile radius of this street sign. (Photograph by: Natalie Rodriguez/Full Sail University)

Gone are the days when the only safety drills that schools had to prepare were fire and earthquake drills. With the Columbine High School shooting of 1999 and more recently the Sandy Hooke Elementary School shooting in Connecticut, parents and students alike worry about the safety of schools. In fact, Oakland has not been the exception when it comes to school massacres. Just last year, in April, seven people were killed and three others were wounded at a private university in Oakland.

In the city of Oakland there are more than 200 schools. The crime rate was the highest in 2012 since 2008 based on the City of Oakland Weekly Crime Report 2012: Year End Report, which is published by the Oakland Police Department. In 2011, three children lost their lives, victims of drive by shootings. One of these victims, Carlos Nava, 3, lost his life outside of a grocery store at 64th and International on a Monday afternoon. This location is merely blocks away from Whittier Elementary School, Saint Bernard’s School, Coliseum College Prep Academy, and Brown’s Preschool Child Care, to name a few.

Brookfield Elementary

Brookfield Elementary School in the Brookfield District of Oakland. (Photograph by: Natalie Rodriguez/Full Sail University)

Take a look at the times during the day when crimes are taking place in Oakland and you might be surprised to realize that serious crimes such as aggravated assault, theft and vandalism are taking place during school hours. Oakland Crimespotting is a crime watch website that data that is published by OPD in coded maps where you can select the types of crimes, the time of day and/or the day of the week when the crime took place.

Unfortunately, in Oakland, students are more likely to have the opportunity to practice and actual lockdown than they are to have to run any of the other safety drills they practice throughout the school year.

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