Friday, April 18, 2014

Evaluate That!
By:  Cathy Sproul

Little over a year ago at school where I worked, we went into a hard lockdown. My classroom was a 40-year-old portable located in a remote area of the campus. Because the lock didn’t work right, I couldn’t secure the door from the inside, so I stepped outside (to try to lock it from the outside and then pull it shut from the inside). Immediately I heard a voice warn, “Get back in!”

It was happening right outside my room. I pulled the door shut and turned off the lights, and we waited.

Didn’t know it at the time, but one of my students (from an earlier period) was taken down in the gravel 15 feet from my door and arrested for a murder that had happened over the weekend. The police recovered the murder weapon in the student’s vehicle, parked 40 feet away.

With Sandy Hook fresh on my mind and twenty-five students in a unsecured classroom made of dry-rotted plywood, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t afraid. Still, through it all I sat with the kids in the relative darkness and downplayed it. Evidently the tactic worked, because not only did the students remain calm but a number of them actually completed and handed in their assignments. Evaluate that.

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