More and more schools are undergoing such drills, a change that is outlined in an article in today's New York Times:
Gone are the days of the traditional fire drill, where students dutifully line up in hallways and proceed to the playground, then return a few minutes later. Now, in a ritual reminiscent of the 1950s, when students ducked under desks and covered their heads in anticipation of nuclear blasts, many schools are preparing for, among other emergencies, bomb threats, hazardous material spills, shelter-in-place preparation (in which students would use schools as shelters if a dirty bomb’s plume were to spread dangerously close) and armed, roaming sociopaths.
“I think it’s really pretty necessary,” said Natalie Wright, a junior honors student at South Brunswick High. “In my old school, we did have an intruder, and we didn’t practice,” she added, recalling how a disgruntled parent had sent her Bronx elementary school into a panic, although no one was hurt.
In the aftermath of recent school shootings, including the one on Feb. 14 at Northern Illinois University in which a gunman killed five people and himself, school administrators and police officers are stepping up emergency preparedness efforts, with many states encouraging schools to practice for the most dire situations.
The information in the Times article does not totally apply to Missouri schools. Fire drills still take place. In fact, the city of Joplin requires schools to have 10 each year, or more than one a month. We also have two tornado drills, as well as two or three lockdown drills.