Lockdown Drills

Connecting Research and Best Practices
for School Administrators, Teachers, and Parents


The first book to offer a comprehensive examination of lockdown drills in K–12 schools, Lockdown Drills balances research findings with practical applications and implications. Schildkraut and Nickerson, school safety experts with complementary backgrounds in criminology and school psychology, review the historical precedents for lockdown drills, distinguish school lockdowns from other emergency procedures (such as active shooter drills), explain why they are conducted, present evidence-based research on their effectiveness, and describe how to conduct them according to best practices. Proponents of lockdown drills as a life-saving necessity, the authors help to bring much-needed standardization to how these drills are studied and conducted.

The authors present common arguments for and against the inclusion of lockdown drills in emergency preparedness efforts, balancing their discussion of the perceptions and psychological impacts of lockdown drills with scholarly research on the extent to which lockdown drills improve how effectively individuals respond to a potential threat. Placing lockdown drills in the larger context of school safety and preparedness, they examine the broader implications for policymakers. Finally, they emphasize that drills, of which lockdowns are only one type, are just a part of the complex school safety puzzle. Ensuring that schools are safe places for students and educators begins long before a crisis occurs and continues through the days, weeks, and years of recovery following a crisis.

Lockdown Drills: Connecting Research and Best Practices for School Administrators, Teachers, and Parents

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What Others Are Saying

Lockdown Drills presents solid sources, real data, and intelligent takeaways while providing guidance for understanding, planning, and conducting drills. I give this valuable book five stars!

Ellen Stoddard-Keyes

Operations Director of The I Love U Guys Foundation

Finally, a book based on real world research. This easy-to-read book gives the blueprints desperately needed on how to conduct safe and effective lockdown drills. It is a MUST read for all school administrators and safety teams.

Missy Dodds

Former teacher & Survivor of the Red Lake High School Shooting, School Safety Advocate

Schildkraut and Nickerson provide a clear assessment of the use of lockdown drills and how they fit into larger discussions surrounding school safety. This is a valuable resource for school officials and parents seeking to make evidence-based decisions regarding student safety.

Cheryl Lero Jonson, PhD

Associate Professor of Criminal Justice, Xavier University

This book is the definitive guide to school lockdown drills. The authors provide a practical, non-technical summary of research findings and explain the role of lockdown drills in a comprehensive school safety plan.

Dewey G. Cornell, PhD

Virgil Ward Professor of Education, University of Virginia

Schildkraut and Nickerson masterfully sift through the steps and components of what makes an effective, and not traumatizing, lockdown practice. This is the guide we have all been missing. Discerning and thoughtful, this book is an outstanding contribution to the field of school safety preparedness.

Kristina Anderson Froling

Executive Director, The Koshka Foundation for Safe Schools