Duck and Cover becomes the new norm for schools

Grace Bobel, Editor

Duck and Cover, the sing-song symbol for the United States of the cold-war era. From post-war 1940s until the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, the threat of atomic apocalypse loomed over the heads of citizens, most especially the children in public schools.

For those who may not be aware, tensions in Soviet-US relations brought the fear to those living in the mid-20th century that the use of atomic bombs may become a reality. This fear was perpetrated into a propaganda film created by the civil defense program and distributed by the U.S. education system. Shown to school children all throughout the 1950s, the film depicts a turtle by the name of Bert, and Bert is able to survive an atomic explosion by doing just what the tuned title tells him to do, duck and cover.

As I look at my own generation’s cultural and political development, I can’t help but make a connection. In this new modern era, the fear of atomic nuclear annihilation has become less of an issue among citizens and an almost non-existent fear among the youth of today.

No, the youth of today has a new threat. Rather than Duck and Cover, its “Run, Hide and Fight” for your life that has become the new norm.

I have seen the development of school shooting drills become more and more extensive yet none the more useful. In my elementary school days, it was simply lock the door and hide under your desks, a duck and cover if you will. As the years have gone on and school shootings actually have become a reality, unlike the atomic threat, they are now much more extensive.

Duck and Cover like films can be found all across the internet with the subject of school shootings in mind, promoted by universities and public schools alike. I am so deeply horrified that such films have to be produced in the first place as well as the true lack of guarantee for the so-called “life-saving tactics”.

I am truly afraid that such tactics that make up these drills have become a permanent solution rather than that of temporary. Those in power have allowed these drills to become so common that the focus is now on prevention by that of the schools rather than legislature. I am horrified to think that these drills are a half-hearted attempt at “action” against school shootings. They take away from the true solution of gun control and the limit of sales of automatic weapons. Just like in the atomic era, these drills can be labeled as that of propaganda, an imaginary safety net rather than a true solution.

Do I wish for these drills to come to an immediate halt, absolutely not. However, those in the higher offices should and must address the gun issue directly. The so-called solutions of “a good guy with a gun” and “Run, Fight, and Hide” are simply a distraction sent forth to avoid addressing limits on the sale of automatic weapons. I can hope that those of governmental authority realize that history is repeating itself once again, and make the difference of actually providing a solution rather than just pretending that these drills are just that, a solution.