Well it has been along time since I walked the halls of any high school. Certain things seems familiar, girls hanging out waiting for their friends, boys with their bikes playing in the parking lot, teachers calling out instructions, the intrusive PA system announcing nonsensical information and in general, a hive of activity. More so on this day because E.C. Drury, the high school I speak of, was host of :The Strength Within Conference". Dedicated to teenage girls, the conference topics ranged from bullying, eating disorders, box-on (physical exercise), financial planning, amazing stories told by motivational speakers and of course, the usual health topics for teens. This last area was covered by me. In a mere 50 minutes, I managed to cover a range of topics from STDs, teenage pregnancy, birth control, painful and other problem periods and this year, very topically, HPV and the Gardasil vaccine.
As terrifying as these medical topics were to some of these girls (yes I did include a few "graphic" pictures), I found something more frightening posted on the walls of the Health room where my session was held: The Lock down/Lockout procedure kit which is likely a result from Columbine and other gun incidents at schools. The lock down procedure goes something like this. Instead of leaving the building(s) in an orderly and calm fashion as in a fire alarm, the students remain in their classrooms. This kit (see above) provides you with a suction cup and two happy faces. If your classroom is secure, you are instructed to hang one of the happy faces via the suction cup to the window and the second "all secure" happy face is to be slid under the door to the classroom or hung over the door of the classroom. The police are called out to the lock down school and proceed room by room, building by building until the "subject" is apprehended or the school is deemed safe. Wow, remember the good ole days when all you had to worry about was fire. Yet another development marking a generation gap.