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The impact of lock down drills on children's mental health

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) - With more mass shootings at schools across the country, local districts have been forced to conduct more lock down drills to be prepared for the worst case scenario.

North Carolina protocol requires school districts to do at least one lock down drill a year. Many districts in the East go above and beyond that.

But some with Trillium Health warn lock down drills can impact a child's mental health. Specifically, it can increase their anxiety.

Keith Letchworth with Trillium Health said lock down drills have a different impact on students than the ordinary fire drill.

"Rather than going outside the building for a fire drill, you gather to protect yourself and others within the space that you're in," he said.

Letchworth said he is aware of parents in several districts calling the school's office to raise concerns about the frequency of drills.

Pitt County Schools conduct two drills a year, one that is announced in the fall and then a second one that is unannounced in the spring to see what works and what doesn't.

Letchworth encourages parents to reach out for help if their child ever experiences any mental health crisis. 


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