Our friend and reader Laurie wrote:
We have in school what we call "lockdown drills." Like Firedrills, but practice hiding deep in the classroom in case a terrorist or madman with gun (ala Columbine, whatever) comes into the school and starts shooting. Anyway, we all get into one corner of the room, and lock the door from the inside until further notice.
Well, we were doing that, the teacher was reading the kids a story so as not to scare them, and about 20 minutes later there was a knock at the classroom door. I got up and looked through the glass window and saw it was the Principal and a rather huge policeman standing there. I thought, "Oh, this is how they must signal the end of lockdown." I opened the door and smiled.
The policeman said to me in a strange tone of voice, "Are there children in here?" I said, uh, yeah..... He then turned to the principal and said, "Do you want to tell her?" and then he went into our classroom. The Principal said to me, "You could have just killed them all." I said, "huh???" And she repeated, You could have just killed them all. I said, What do you mean???? She said, "You should have known NEVER to open the door to ANYONE. This was a test, and you didn't pass."
The policeman had gone into our room and said to the 23 huddled kids, pointing to me, "THAT was what shouldn't have happened. Help save kids!." The kids wondered what the heck he was talking about.
I was horrified by how this was handled. Mortified. Not that I made a mistake and didn't know our policy, I admitted that I should have known the policy of not opening doors.... but by the attitude of fear and intimidation in the whole thing. My principal's outrageous comment to me (I used my judgement and saw my Principal and a police officer standing there, how was it I "could have killed them all."?) and the behavior and words of the police officer to the kids, all of whom felt they had done something wrong themselves.