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New period for earthquake and fire drills

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By Caitlin Chen | Opinions Editor

Last month, Fremont Unified School District announced that each FUSD high school was to add a mandatory seventh period devoted to practicing earthquake drills starting the second semester of the 2015-2016 school year. This class, called Fremont Earthquake Alert Response, trains students in the difficult task of walking outside.

“In the chaos of the moment, I couldn’t remember what to do,” freshman Kayna -Shaladina said. “Despite the fact that we’ve been doing these drills literally since elementary school, I just, like, completely forgot.”

Each period will begin with practice walking through doors. Students will line up and exit the room through the door, then re-enter and repeat.

“We’re hoping that if we make walking through doors an unconscious reflex, there won’t be any panic,” Principal Moots said. “We’re also worried that students don’t know how to stand, so in fourth quarter, we’re going to teach students to stand upright after they evacuate the building.”

The school will also offer an advanced class in which students respond to the sound of their names while standing upright on grassy terrain. The administration anticipates that the class will encounter many difficulties, as the coursework is difficult, but teachers are optimistic that students with practice will be able to cope.

The school district also plans to implement a training regimen to avoid injuries during evacuations.

“The last drill we had, on Thursday, October 22, a lot of students asked why they couldn’t simply walk outside instead of through the school and around the building,” Principal Moots said. “They had to go through a potentially dangerous, unsafe building. The admin really took their opinions to heart. We’re not going to change the route, but we’ll add an obstacle course that simulates the experience. We’re going to have students practice ducking from falling falling ceiling plaster and glass from shattered lights.”

The student-created online news source for Irvington High School | Fremont, CA
New period for earthquake and fire drills