Imagine thousands of young adults kept locked in various rooms, separated from their parents, and some with no access to food, water, or the opportunity to relieve themselves, for up to 5 hours.
That's what happened to several Los Angeles Unified School District high schools a few days ago after a school police officer was shot and wounded. From the L.A. Times,
Thousands of students were kept in classrooms without food, water or access to restrooms longer than necessary, the Los Angeles school district's police chief acknowledged, as officials coped with complaints from parents frustrated once more with the district's handling of an emergency situation.
Not to worry, though, for even though the lockdown encompassed 9 different schools in a 7 square mile area (for one person shot, mind you), the police department is sympathetic to the predicament the students faced.
"That is not the time to attempt to deliver food to 3,500 students — during the search for an armed assailant," said LAPD Deputy Chief Kirk Albanese.
Well... surely the school district must have a bit more sympathy?
"Yes, parents are upset that their children at El Camino perhaps weren't allowed to use the bathroom," Siegel said, "but safety of the students is our top priority".
Safe, if not thirsty, hungry, and doing the "I gotta pee so bad!" dance. Yet some classes did improvise by, as one parent put it, "peeing into trash cans". Some schools have gone so far as to implement the use of "Lockdown Kits". Again, from the L.A. Times,
In fact, a 5-gallon pail is part of a "lockdown kit" that is supposed to be accessible to every classroom. The pail with a removable lid is "solely for the purpose of this kind of situation," said district spokesman Robert Alaniz.
Other elements of the lockdown kit include toilet paper and a portable toilet seat. There's also a flashlight, polyethylene bags, blankets, a pocket radio, bandages, tissues, disposable vinyl gloves, assorted batteries and duct tape.
Every new teacher is supposed to receive training in using the kit, which includes a recommendation that teachers supply a sheet that can be draped to provide privacy, said Bob Spears, the district's director of emergency services.
What was that? A "recommendation" that the teacher supply a sheet that can be used to provide some bit of privacy?
It seems to me that about the only other place you hear of a "lockdown" occurring is... that's right - a prison.
Rest assured. If our home school ever goes into lockdown mode, there will be more in the lockdown kit than mere toiletries.