Not A Drill


Yvonne Garcia and Ariana Ventress

          A typical Monday morning where nobody is looking forward to coming to school, unfortunately even teachers.

          Students are tired and not happy to go to class.

          They often wonder if their class today will be the lucky to have a sub.

          “Lets gooooooo! We have a sub,” sophomore Emiliano Guerrero exclaims while walking into his first period.

          “Good morning class my name is Mrs. Beach, and I am your sub for the day. Your teacher has left these worksheets for you to do,” she explains.

          Once Mrs. Beach makes it clear there is work to be done, students let out groans and slowly start to work on their classwork.

          While in Ms. Clifford’s first period math class, the substitute, Mrs. Beach, passes out three worksheets.

          Students are working in groups of three or two. They are hurrying to get their work done with a few conversations here and there.

          “Did you guys see all the police cars outside? We better not be going into a lock down,” sophomore Annyus Chandler said to two other students working in her group.

         The students at the desks sat and thought of the what ifs that could have happened.

         “Nah I don’t think so, they’re probably just here with the dogs,” Guerrero states.

         Everyone was calm and focused on getting their work done. It was going to be a long first period after the announcements went off.

          “Good morning staff and students we are going into a lockdown, this is not a drill…,” secretary Joan Smith said.

          All students were forced to follow the instructions given.

          Before finishing work in their first period, students at River City High School were on lockdown for 6 hours on Monday, March 6, forced to stay in their first period before being evacuated.

          “This was a day were oddly we had a quite a lot of substitute teachers,” principal Stanley Mojsich explains.

          “It was scary, especially having a sub. There wasn’t the same amount of information given out to subs and they weren’t able to really tell us what was going on,” sophomore Rishal Kumar said.

          Unlike regular teachers who were sent out emails, the substitutes had to wait for a phone call to be given information.

          “It was a little difficult reaching out to other admin and receiving information because they were so busy dealing with the situation. Everyone was helpful but I do recommend that in the future we should be given an email to be reached out too,” substitute Mrs. Beach explains.

          Although they were not reached out like other teachers, they were given as much information as possible to try to reduce the amount of anxiety and stress on students.

          It was very important for all students to follow instructions.

          Students might not have realized that being disobedient could have put themselves and others at risk.

          “My class wasn’t taking it serious and they were not listening to our substitute. Some students were actually scared and crying, while other students were being loud and laughing about the situation,” freshman Elizabeth Rico explains.

          Many students made it more difficult for substitutes to keep the class under control.

          “A few students were pretty “squirrelly”,” Mrs. Beach recalled.

          Of course not all students made it difficult and some students did what they were supposed to do.

          “I stayed calm which helped the class to remain calm, it was only difficult once it was time to evacuate,” Ms. Beaudoin states.

          Being a substitute during a lock down with very little contact can put a lot of pressure on them, especially having a class full of unfamiliar faces.

          The hardest part about this experience with the substitute was evacuations because they were confused on how to release students without any information.

          “I knew what I was doing, at least for the first hour,” Ms. Beaudoin explains.

          Staff and admin did try to the best of their ability to make the evacuation as easy and safe as possible.

          Not only was the evacuation difficult on the subs, it wasn’t a pleasurable experience for students either.

          Students began to become frustrated and impatient.   

          “My mom is already outside waiting, I’m not going to sit in here and wait for nothing,” Chandler rebuked as she proceeds out the classroom door.

          The evacuation process took a long time, and within the hours students needed to use the restrooms.

          “My biggest concern was getting students to the restrooms, lockdown hours were basically from 9:30 to 2:30 and students who needed to use the restroom started to get angry,” Mrs. Beach states.

          Students started to pressure substitutes into using the phones to contact someone so they could use the restroom.

          “I really needed to go to the bathroom so pressuring the sub to call someone was my last concern,” junior Zainam Khan explains.

          Students started to pull down the emergency buckets.

          Although this lockdown was very unexpected and scary, overall everyone was safe with or out without a substitute.

          “We should have done a better job at making sure the substitutes were more prepared. We are creating a buddy system for substitute teachers for future references,” Mr. Mojsich states.

          Secretary, Joan Smith, made a pre planned binder for all substitute teachers.

          “Once they come to me to sign in I will hand them the binder which holds everything they need and everything they need to know,” Mrs. Smith explains.

          These pre planned binders have access to an email address and password that substitutes will have access too.

          Mr. Mojsich put together a meeting for students, parents, teachers, admin, and substitutes to give their thoughts on what to do for future preferences.

          “It is going to take time but we will get there,” principal Mojsich explains.