Opinion | Fire Drill Being Held in Freezing Temperatures

In frigid weather conditions, students and staff participated in a fire drill.


Gloria Namgung, Editor-in-Chief

Today, Tuesday, Jan. 31, a fire drill was held in less-than-ideal weather conditions. School authorities should have taken into consideration the well-being of students and staff by moving the fire drill to a more weather-appropriate date. School officials should have also intentionally chosen the drill to take place in a classroom different than the most recent drill in the semester prior.

This morning, the highest temperature landed at 15 degrees Fahrenheit and wind gusts were significantly lower in temperature. It was completely unnecessary for all students and staff to evacuate to significantly low temperatures outside.

Cherry Creek Schools states, “We practice fire drills one time per month.”

Why wasn’t this drill practiced in the previous weeks when it was warmer? This evacuation drill could have been more well thought out with many students not equipped with the right jackets and layers to keep themselves warm.

From a student’s viewpoint, there are many days during the colder seasons when I don’t bring a jacket due to the burden of having to carry it around all day. However, most days in the winter season when I don’t bring a jacket, I’m not expected to participate in a fire drill in freezing temperatures.

In addition, today, the fire drill was held in my second-period Red Day class. At Smoky, a block schedule is followed where students will have up to four classes on an A Day (Red) and up to four classes on a B Day (Green). From my recollection of memory, the last fire drill that took place was held in the same second-period Red Day class.

Each class has a different evacuation route when exiting the school. Students should have common knowledge of knowing where each of their classroom evacuation exits are in matter of an emergency. This raises the issue that the drills this school year are repetitive and not effective as a whole. The drills are “repetitive” because students are experiencing the same classrooms and the same exits. In retrospect, if a real emergency were to occur in a student’s classroom other than the classroom they normally practiced fire drills in previously, how will they be able to swiftly evacuate the building?

I hope that in the future, evacuation drills will be thought out more carefully for the benefit of students and staff as a whole. This includes the projected weather for the day and the classroom settings in which students are present.