Practice makes perfect?

Teachers and students open up about South High's emergency drills.


Alexandria Henriksen

Building manager Lisa Marcinkiewicz works at her desk. Marcinkiewicz is in charge of the drills at South High.

Ducking under desks, loud never-ending sirens, hiding in a dark enclosed room. Everyone has done some sort of drill sometime in their life. Missouri state only requires intruder and earthquake drills, but Parkway requires its students to do more drills than the state requires. 

Assistant band director, Matthew Wall, shares his opinion on how these drills are run. 

“The intruder drills should be more realistic and less announced and the fire drills shouldn’t be set in the winter. Personally, I go out the band room, and across the parking lot. Honestly, I’m okay with the drills we have now,” Wall said. 

Sophomore Lizzie Kjar had her own personal opinion on the many different types of drills at South High. 

“The teachers need to establish the rendezvous point more clearly,” she said, “and they shouldn’t be held during Ac. Lab, or the blocks that the students have lunch.”

Building manager Lisa Marcinkiewicz opens up about drills at our school. She was asked about scheduling, timing, and many other questions related to the drills. Parkway requires two fire drills within the first two weeks of school, and one every month. They also require one intruder, earthquake, and tornado drill every semester.

“People at the main district in safety tell me how many drills we need per school year. Also, we try switching up the drill days (red/blue days). On blue days, we aim for Ac Lab, and on red days we strive to hold the drills near 1 p.m. However, many teachers would argue that there is no ideal time for a drill,” she said. 

According to Wall, he notices that most students don’t take the drills seriously. 

“The students don’t take these drills seriously,” says Wall, “They don’t understand that these drills could happen in the near future. I can only hope that there won’t ever be an actual intruder in our school.”

Although many argue that drills are necessary, there is controversy when it comes to the number of drills. 

“The amount of fire drills we have is fine, but they need to be more spread out,” Kjar said. “We need more tornado drills during tornado season, and we need an intruder drill at least once every two months because the world is getting more and more dangerous.”

Many students and staff members complain about the drill schedule, but there are some who believe they are a necessary evil.

“We always need to be on guard,” Kjar said. “No one knows when something is going to happen. The drills help us to know what to do. Some people have an adrenaline shock, and having a plan can counteract that.”