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Teacher’s harshest lesson: day of the lockdown drill

Bing Guan/Bloomberg

Your coverage of the March for Our Lives rally I attended on Saturday gave me flashbacks of the worst lesson I taught in my 31 years as a teacher (“Rallying in Boston and beyond,” Metro, June 12).

First, I showed my eighth-graders how to block the front and back doors to Room 225 by stacking interlocked desks. Next, we searched the classroom for objects that could disable a shooter who blasted through a door: staplers, tape dispensers, the bronze apple on my desk. (I didn’t mention that the disabled shooter would most likely be a schoolmate or someone’s older brother from the high school.) We darkened the room, then I instructed them to huddle in a corner and remain silent.


As we awaited an announcement ending the lockdown drill, I imagined maiming an armed former student, throwing myself between him and my current students.

In the student pile, two of my girls giggled nervously. I glared at them. “Silence,” I rasped through my teeth.

Later, one of the gigglers approached me in the hallway. “I’m so sorry, Mr. McIntosh,” she said.

“No, Kristin,” I said. “I’m sorry. Very sorry.”

Ten years later, I have — we have — no better response.

Kevin M. McIntosh


The writer taught English at Dover-Sherborn Middle School.