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Increase in Borderland school lockdowns takes mental toll on students

EL PASO, Texas -- Lockdowns and lockouts have become almost second nature to students nowadays, but that doesn't mean they don't still take a mental toll on kids especially in the wake of the nation’s latest school mass shooting.

"As soon as she got in the car she just like just collapsed," parent Amparo Pena said. "I think for all of us it was just a high stress situation, not knowing what was going on and if everyone was okay."

That's how the reaction of Mercedes Pena, a senior at Silva Magnet, was described after she experienced a lockdown at her Borderland school just days after the Michigan mass shooting that killed four students.

During November 2021, Ysleta ISD had 1 lockout and 1 lockdown, El Paso ISD had 6 lockouts and 7 lockdowns, Socorro had 0 of either.

Former police captain Douglas Parisi who now works with schools on safety protocols says that when these lockouts and lockdowns happen, it's crucial that parents help put their kids at ease. He said you can do that by being open with them and taking an active roll in talking to them about what happened. 

"There's 144,000 schools in the United States and something like this only happens at about 15-20 of them a year," Parisi said. "So the probability is extremely small but we do need to prepare for the possibility and that's what parents need to tell their kids." 

Rachel Phillips

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