During a fire drill, I guess there are two rules; exit in an orderly fashion, and don’t panic. Now imagine what not to do… Does it look anything like this?
Instructed to cover their mouths and run as fast as they could, I’d nearly been knocked over by an avalanche of screaming first grades as they’d bolted towards the stairs. Nobody had informed me of the fire drill, so I’d already been bewildered by the sudden sirens echoing through the halls. The cacophony of panic only added to it. Not at all worried, I’d watched in awe as the courtyard flooded with children running like chickens with their heads cut off. Some knocked into each other, some tripped and fell, and the fittest made their way to the front of the pack. Lord of the flies, Jurong Country Garden School edition.
The children bounced and fidgeted as their teachers took head counts, and I took the opportunity to ask my manager if this panic was really what the school had intended and encourages. She gave me an equally baffled look and said, Of course, safety is important and we need the children to exit as quickly as possible. I brought up the sprinting and screaming, and touched upon the multiple incidents I’d witnessed in which a kid almost got trampled… her response? Running is less dangerous than fire. Well, that clears it up.