Bill proposed to reduce number of lockdown drills in NYC schools

Assemblymember Jo Anne Simon and state Sen. Andrew Gounares are pushing the measure citing concerns of students being traumatized by the repeated drills.

Rob Taub

Apr 27, 2023, 12:10 AM

Updated 445 days ago

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Elected officials have proposed a new bill which could soon reduce the number of lockdown drills in schools from four to just one a year.
Assemblymember Jo Anne Simon and state Sen. Andrew Gounares are pushing the measure citing concerns of students being traumatized by the repeated drills.
"They are actually causing more trauma than not and too many of our kids don't even realize that the drill is a drill,” Simon told News 12.
Since 2016, a state law has required schools to conduct four lockdown drills a year.
"Studies have shown that lock down drills lead to a nearly 40% increase in depression for young students. so there actually is significant trauma,” added Gounares.
Parents acknowledged the extra drills are essential for the safety of students given the constant school shootings across the country. A Washington Post database shows there were 46 school shootings in 2022 alone.
"Having kids practice for the possibility of a tragedy can actually be empowering,” said Community Education Council District 8’s Farah Despeignes. “And I think it's more stressful for kids when they're going to school day to day, and they don't know what's going to happen."
A spokesperson for the Department of Education says in part: “We are working with national experts to develop best practices for drills that result in students and staff feeling more prepared and not traumatized while maintaining a commitment to preparedness.”
If the bill is passed, it would go into effect next school year.


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