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Civil Defense Drills in Brooklyn Schools

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Posted by Nate on Monday, October 2nd 2017:

During the cold war, (in the early 1960's), when there was a real fear of a nuclear strike directed against our cities, we used to have civil defense drills at P.S. 217. When our teacher would yell "Take cover", everyone would have to duck under their desks, and hold their hands over their faces. The desks were not that large, and some students would bang their heads, during that drill, when they ran under the desk. They had to fold the seat up, in order to get under the desk. It would have made more sense for us, to have assembled in the inner hallways, where we were away from the glass windows. We also used to assemble in the inner hallways during the periodic fire drills. When the fire drills occurred, sometimes, we would also have to leave the building. In addition, in the early 1950's, we were all issued dog tags, similar to the ones, which the military used. We were requested to wear them. However, there was no enforcement, as the teachers to my knowledge, never checked to see if we wore them. The dog tags had our name, address, date of birth, etc. I don't remember if the religion of the students were on the tags. I regret that I didn't save save that dog tag. The civil defense drills only lasted for a year or so. However, through the early 1970's, the air raid sirens would come on every day at Noon. I don't know if this is still the case in Brooklyn, or not? Does anybody on this site still have those dog tags, issued by the Board of Education?

Reference ID: BK95133


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