Editor: Whoever suggested we shouldn’t believe everything we read in the newspaper as gospel truth is absolutely correct. I am specifically referring to the front page articles written about the Langley Secondary School lockdown which occurred on Tuesday of this week.
As a teacher who was there, in lockdown, I would like some things clarified.
First, some individual might have told a few students to “stay down low and get to the back of classroom and use your desk as a shield,” but this message was not conveyed by the principal, nor any administrator, over the PA system.
I want the public to know that teachers would never try to heighten the anxiety of their students by suggesting that a gunman might enter the classroom and start shooting.
Secondly, the message that came to us over the PA system was short and succinct. It did not sound “panicky,” as stated by a student in your story.
Yes, the message was urgent. We were scheduled to have a “lockdown drill” the same morning, so everyone was expecting an announcement to begin the drill. What we heard instead was: “Lockdown. This is not a drill.”
The urgency in principal Dawne Tomlinson’s voice was to emphasize that we were not having a drill. This was the real thing. The message was certainly not delivered in a state of terror.
The announcement was understood clearly by all astute people who were listening and awaiting the drill.
I would suggest in the future, you speak with someone in authority for accurate information — someone who was not perhaps panicked themselves — instead of interviewing a distressed teenager.