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Lockdown drills take a toll on school children

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Posted at 11:44 PM, May 31, 2022

BUFFALO, NY (WKBW) — Pharaoh Payton is a third grader in the Buffalo Public School system and said he's never had a school year without lockdown drills.

"When they make a lock down drill, I get a feeling in my head there's that there's a shooter or something bad happening,” Payton said.

"The lockdown drills, to him, feel just like a fire drill," Payton’s mom, Synta Adams said.

Payton’s mom said he knows practicing what to do in case of an emergency is important.

"He just never knows when it’s the real thing,” Adams said. “So, he takes it very seriously."

Payton said he feels safe knowing how to hide properly.

"We would either hide under a table, hide where there's cover or under a desk," Payton said.

Buffalo schools ninth grader Serea Walker said, “lockdown drills have become way too normalized, and they're not always taken seriously.”

And Payton said even though he knows what to do, hearing the lockdown signal is not easy.

"Sometimes I can get scared or shocked for a few seconds or like overwhelmed," Payton said. "Because get worried about a bunch of things all at once."

At School #156, parents and students said after Tuesday's incident coupled with two mass shooting in two weeks, emotions are heightened.

"Of course, there's always going to be some instance of pandemonium when no one knows what's happening,” parent and council member Ulysees Wingo said.

"It was very scary,” School #156 student Santana Boykin said.

Buffalo Public Schools said counseling and support will be available to all students who request it following the incident at School #156.