PARKLAND, Fla. (CBS12) — Code red practices at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School will start almost immediately after school begins.
Jenny Cezar, a licensed clinical social worker, said the sound of the fire alarm or a simple jiggling of a door could be traumatic to those who have witnessed the unimaginable.
“These kids are still in the stage of processing this trauma and going through something like this and having it so soon reactivated could be pretty harmful to that process,” she said.
Cezar said she’s worried code red drills at Stoneman Douglas will negatively impact students and teachers.
“Even if we know the difference between feeling and reality in a moment, sometimes your body doesn't know," she said. "Our body will start reacting and responding to active traumas perceived or otherwise."
In an online message, the school's principal informed parents and students there will be a code red drill -- or lockdown -- within the first two weeks of school, followed by monthly drills.
Cezar believes that’s too early.
“I just feel like doing it so soon, so close to the beginning of school would be troublesome because they are still adjusting,” she said.
Cezar said students can develop anxiety or even worse, PTSD.
“I feel like that would be vicariously traumatizing to go through those experiences,” she said.
Cezar said the students might respond better if it’s later in the year, further away from the tragic day.
“If we are having something happen that’s all of a sudden reactivated for them, they are not going to be able to focus," she said. "They are not going to get what they need out of academics for that day."
While the drills are unannounced, Cezar believes the students should get some type of notice so they are mentally prepared.