ROJH students play victims in mock drill

8th grader Jeffry Grady pretends to be injured as school staff tend to him Friday. There were 30 student actors who participated in Friday's mock disaster drill.

Gracie Klander

8th grader Jeffry Grady pretends to be injured as school staff tend to him Friday. There were 30 student actors who participated in Friday's mock disaster drill.

Thirty students acted as “victims” during Friday’s mock disaster drill.

Some screamed.

Some “died.”

Some slept.

“I fell asleep, actually,” 7th grader Emma Nance, who played an unconscious victim, said. “It was really hard [not to laugh] because the [medical team] was poking me.”

Students could volunteer to be actors by signing the mock disaster permission form the school sent home to parents. Although many students volunteered, only those with the best grades and behavior were accepted.

“We knew how many injured students we needed, and we decreased the number of students by taking out the students that are not passing their classes, don’t do their work, and who do not follow instructions,” Red Oak ISD Police Chief Scott Lindsey said. “When we took all the bad students out of the stack, we still had about three times the number of students we needed. So I just randomly chose students out of the stack to be in the mock disaster drill as actors.”

In past mock disasters, students have also played victims.

“We did our first mock disaster with actors in 2001 because we wanted to involve our students and make it more realistic,” Lindsey said. “Obviously, we were testing our medical team. With no one injured, there’s not a lot to test right?”

Staff members played an important role in the mock disaster as well, including librarian Cheryl Hawkins, who served on the Medical Services team. Hawkins had to keep track of students who were going to the “hospitals” set up by the district.

“It took us a lot of time and practice for us to get it all together,” Hawkins said. “I was nervous; I wanted every student to be in their specific place and no student lost or misplaced.”

One student who participated as an actor was 7th grader Caleb Mullins. He played a victim who fell off the bleachers and was injured.

“I had to stay still, which was hard for me,” Mullins said. “I didn’t think I would be able to stay still for that long, but I did.”

Mullins said the mock disaster was a good experience.

“I got to see how the disaster would look if it was real,” Mullins said. “It was fun; I got to see what the stage makeup looked like.

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