By Natalie Mack
Everyone who was in the building on September, 27th, 2019 felt what it was like to be scared for their life. For some of us, that might have been the first time we’ve ever felt that way, but for others, it may have been one they have felt previously. Either way, still a feeling that I never imagined I would have.
Fortunately for me, when that voice came over the loudspeaker and said “Lockdown lockdown, this is not a drill, this is not a drill”, my biology teacher, Ashley Erisman, sprang into action. She ran to the door and pulled down the safety lock magnet, just like we had all practiced since Kindergarten. As Ms. Erisman quickly worked to secure the rest of the classroom, my classmates did the same. I always imagined myself doing just that. Barricading the doors, pulling the shades, and grabbing anything I could use as a weapon if the intruder were to enter the room. But I didn’t. I stood there. After what felt like hours of just standing there, which had really only been a few seconds, I ran over to the windows in the classroom. I looked out the window. I saw what looked like students running with their hands up. It seemed as though I had seen this exact scene a million times before, on the news. The Parkland, Sandy Hook, and Santa Fe school shootings, just to name a few, were events I remembered seeing on the news. I recalled seeing this exact scene happen in all three of these school shootings; it was almost identical. The running, the sirens, the screaming. With nothing else to do, I grabbed a biology textbook and squatted down in the corner with my classmates, fearing the worst.
Similarly, NHS graduate, a senior at the time, Lizzie Freed, recalls what happened to her on September 27th, 2019. She stated, “I had never truly felt the terror of a lockdown until this fall, when Nantucket High School had one of its own. It was a calm afternoon in ceramics class and I was glazing the mug which I had worked so hard on creating and was excited to put it into the kiln. It was that moment when the voice of our principal, Dr. Buckey, came onto the loudspeaker repeating the phrase ‘Lockdown, lockdown, this is not a drill.’ After countless lockdown drills, I knew what I had to do, and being the closest one to the door, I got up and pulled off the magnet which had the ability to lock out any intruder. In an instant, we barricaded the door and headed to the ceramics closet where we stood shaking and trembling in silent fear. I ran into the adjoining classroom with my teachers and we locked that door and barricaded it as well. An hour passed, and still, nobody had any idea what was transpiring. I began to ponder the countless possibilities of what might happen. With all these thoughts running through my mind, I decided I needed to leave and kicked out the screen window. Since I didn’t really know what was going on, or where the threat was, I realized it would be better to stay with the group,” Freed stated.
My intention isn’t for you to listen to our stories. Because these stories didn’t have the horrifying outcome like some other schools. My intention is for anyone reading this, to not forget what we all experienced that Friday afternoon. You may want to forget it. Believe me, so do I. But we can’t. Although this school year, some of us are in school four days a week at most, we still need to be aware. Situations like these don’t go away during a pandemic. We as a school need to continue to be prepared for an event where it won’t be a false alarm like last year. I know, it’s truly frightening to hear the word, “Lockdown” over the loudspeaker, whether the words that follow be, “this is not a drill” or “this is a drill”. However, forgetting about locking down and not practicing it, will only work against us.