I've tried to respond like 3 times. Stupid laptop.
I admittedly know nothing about the fire drill procedure and policy at my daughter's school. I am looking for it on the Board website. The school is K-4, and there are several classrooms of each grade, so there's a lot of pretty young kids. I do not believe that in a fire drill a child should be allowed to stand outside for more than 5 minutes with no coat if it's cold. There's -10 cold, and there's -40 cold. And yes, it gets that cold. Some fire drills are arranged with the fire dept (they attend, have a mock scenario, talk to admin etc.) and presumably would be planned in advance with no advance knowledge of weather conditions for that particular day. I do not think it's fair or safe to let young children to stand outside in high windchill values with no coat. That said, I do not think in the case of a real fire teachers should be allowing children to dilly dally with coats mitts, getting them put on while still inside, etc. Also, when the alarm is real there is often no way of knowing if it's a false alarm, if it's carbon monoxide, a faint detection of smoke with no visible fire, raging fire, etc. So, it should not be left up to teachers to make a determination if it is or isn't safe for a child to put on their coat. I think that it should be part of the drill. Alarm sounds, line up, wait for instructions, grab coat off hook, assemble outside at your designated location. If the hallway is filled with smoke, then usual protocol kind of changes, right? You're doing the whole stop, drop and roll and obviously no time for coats. Life is in imminent danger. I get that.
My first instinct though, knowing that in a drill my 5 y.o. is standing outside for 15 minutes (albeit when it was only at about the freezing mark) makes me angry. I am sort of torn between my maternal instinct to protect my child (the way that every fiber of my being wanted to race and pick her up from school the day of Sandy Hook) and following procedure (not stirring the pot, so to speak). I think that once I find out what the procedure is I'll be more informed and be able to feel more strongly in either direction enough to say something to the school administrators.
-Alissa, mom to Tristan (5) and Reid (the baby!)
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I think it was awful that the teacher's took theirs. They are not supposed to here either.
We had a fire drill at one of my work buildings last week. The fire chief went off on someone who brought her coat, bag and coffee.
That is terrible that the teachers took theirs. The fire drills on base are conducted and planned by the fire department so the school gets unofficial notice from spouses, but they usually aren't given advance notice. So at pickup time during a small snowstorm, the alarm went off. I was shocked and then horrified as all of the babies were put into the mobile cribs and toted outside with just one blanket for each crib. I took off my parka and put it over the crib my kid was in (part of the drill is to count the parents but not allow them to help so I couldn't pick him up) but the fact that it could and did happen when I wasn't there to do that made me a little angry. The teachers didnt' grab their coats either so the count was done and we went back in. I do think they should do it as they would a real drill, but common sense says if it's snowing/lightening (that happened at Keesler) or the weather just isn't cooperating to try another day.
I have never heard of anyone getting advance notice about fire drills. Doesn't that take away the spontaneity of the drill?
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I don't know, I often picture a teacher having their coat slung over their desk chair, whereas the students are generally in a closet at the back of the room (for ElEd) or in their lockers or MS or HS. I think that if I was literally sitting or standing at my chair when the drill went off, I'd probably grab mine too, but of course HS students aren't going to their lockers or eled kids aren't going to the coat closet to get theirs. I Agree that it probably doesn't look great, but the teacher may have just grabbed it by instinct, not necessarily to be a dbag or anything. I'm sure if I was standing by my desk I'd probably reach out for my coat too, just as a matter of habit.
Again, I think that the real issue is the time that the students were forced to stand outside. This reminds me of a heated debate we had on here years ago about parents not being allowed to leave their cars running in car line. A child is simply not going to freeze to death in 5 minutes outside in winter appropriate clothing (or overheat to death on a 104 degree day standing on blacktop, either) ~ nor are they going to die sitting in a turned off car in car line. That said, 20 minutes standing outside in those temps is inappropriate and unacceptable on part of the school in a drill situation.
I don't think I've ever done a fire drill we didn't know about. There have been plenty of times since I've joined the Air Force that some idiot set the thing off or they were working on it and didn't tell anyone, but even as a kindergartner I remember being told we were having a fire drill that day. Public schools and the nursing homes we knew too.
The only time I've known of a fire drill is at my old job and it was because we would schedule it as the building owners. We usually sat inside which the FD knew we were doing.
Current job, school..never knew.
I have no idea. What does that have to do with a fire drill? We play outside and go to the beach in 104 weather. Haven't died yet. We also sit in the car with it turned off (our car has a roof, so its shaded). Car line is never more than 5-7 minutes or so, and if the AC has been on and my children and I are appropriately dressed (as we are on hot days) we have yet to have almost died. The car is pretty well insulated and the windows are super tinted pdiddy style. We generally all have ice water with us as well. I find it hard to believe that they or I could die in car line, from heat or cold. Ditto a fire drill. Many people live in homes without AC, even up here in the NE where we get horrible heat waves. An open window can do wonders. THe person who started the debate that time was outraged that her children had to be without heat or AC for a few minutes. It reeked of over privilege.
Last edited by Potter75; 01-22-2013 at 03:15 PM.