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Need To Fire Their Fire Planner

| Learning | July 5, 2017

(I am the kind of kid who always does a risk assessment before I agree to try anything new. I move house when I am little, and not too long after I start school, I have my first fire drill there. We line up outside on a large tennis court on a tarmac area between the main building, and the newly built science department. The tennis court is open on the side next to the buildings, but because the main road lies beyond the other side, there is a high, metal link fence around three of the four sides.)

Me: “Miss? This is a fire drill, isn’t it?”

Teacher: “Yes, [My Name]. There’s no need to be scared; there’s not really a fire.”

Me: “Oh, I’m not scared about that, Miss. I’m just wondering why we all gather in the most dangerous place if there is a fire?”

Teacher: “There’s no need to worry. This place is safe, I promise.”

Me: “But we’re standing right between the science block, where all the chemicals are, and the food tech room, which is most likely to catch fire. And we’re on the tennis court, so if those two places do catch fire, there’s a really high fence all around us, and only two small gates for the whole school to get out of. We’d be trapped.”

(The teacher pauses, looks around, and frowns.)

Teacher: “I promise, we’re all safe, [My Name]. The drill is almost over, and we’ll all be going inside soon. Go wait in line.”

(I was still concerned, but I did as I was told. The teacher went to talk to the headmaster, who was standing in front of the assembly, and I could see her pointing to the buildings and fence. Next month, we had another fire drill, and this time, we lined up on the other side of school in the small off-shoot car park used for teachers’ cars, which left the main car park free for fire engines and the like. I felt a whole lot safer, but still couldn’t believe it took a seven year old for them to figure out that where they had been gathering might not have been the best place!)

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