Code Red On Lockdown

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By Autumn Polanowski, Reporter

  Throughout the United States, school districts must participate in different sets of drills to help keep their students and staff safe throughout the school year.

  There are 4 main drills that must be held throughout the year, including three fire evacuation drills, three lock down drills, one shelter-in-place drill and one high-risk event drill (earthquake, flood, tornado e.t.c)


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 Students and staff have different opinions on whether or not the drills are effective. The lock down drill is one of the most debated on for whether it is or is not effective.

  Senior Tyler Wagner explains his opinion on the lockdown drill.

  “The drill is effective. But I would definitely get a lot more security around here, so in case this does happen, then we are ready,” said Wagner. “Plus, if we only have a couple people in security in the building, it’s less likely that they will be able to get to the part of the building in time that the intruder is in. It’s just a scary thought, but I feel like the precautions we take are good enough and all we can really do for the little amount of security we have.”

  Since 1980, there has been 137 fatal shootings throughout the United States. 297 people have died during these shootings.

Students huddled in the corner during a lock down drill.

  Elementary schools have had 17 shootings between this time period, high schools have had 62 shootings. More than half of the deaths came from the high school shootings.

 Assistant Principal James Sterner expressed how he feels about the high amount of shootings just within the last 37 years.

  “These numbers are troubling, but do not wrench my heart as much as the number of families and classrooms rocked by the loss of life through these acts,” said Sterner. “I remember reflecting on the events at Columbine as a student at that time.  As I watched media coverage, I recall feeling a loss.  School is such a key element (an important right) to being an American that it created a national impact to see this institution disrupted.”

  Students say that there should be more precautions taken with the lockdown drill.

  There are 25 different lock down procedures throughout the United States that different schools use in case of an actual lock down.

Stay out of the hallways with an intruder in the building

  Schools must have the main four procedures practiced in case of an actual emergency. The four procedures are: evacuation procedure, bomb threat procedure, lock down procedure and an evacuation drill.

  Students and staff have realized that any shooter has most likely learned the same procedures in school as well, or at least heard about them, so they typically know where the students and staff are throughout the building. Schools question the safety of their students for this reason.

  On an active school day, with no bad weather conditions, students and staff are all most likely to be inside of the building, so people question as to why have the students hide in a non visible side and turn the lights off as if no one is in the school. The intruder would obviously know that they are in the building.

  There have been debates if schools should change up the procedures every year, so that the intruders wouldn’t think back to their own procedures done in their schools. They believe it would increase the safety of students and staff. But what could they possibly do in this short amount of time?

  There could be more than one intruder, roaming the halls and attacking any student or staff member seen. They could have intruders surrounding the schools outside,which doesn’t allow anyone to be able to sneak outside.

  There is only so much that school systems can do if something like this was to happen.

  English Teacher Martha Smith believes the schools do what they can, especially if the intruder already knows the procedure process.

  “I would hope, in theory, if there were a shooter, that the cops would be quick to respond. Then again I would think that someone wouldn’t be able to shoot through cinder block like we have that our school is built from,” said Smith. “So I hope that by barricading the door it would be enough. It’s scary that they too know the procedure, but we have to work with what we have and hopefully stall for a long enough time until the police show up. You also don’t know if it’s more than one shooter, like if there’s any outside. But fight or flight would take in, and you need to decide if  you run or squat and hope for the best.”

  Students and staff are given precautions that must be followed to secure the safety of everyone in the building. Over time these precautions will change. Hopefully these new precautions will increase the amount of safety for every school district.

  All school districts are doing everything they can to keep their students and staff safe.

  For more information on the lockdown drill visit: