Flee, hide, or fight

Teachers react to new lock down procedures implemented for staff and students

A student places chairs and tables in front of the door during a lock down drill.

A student places chairs and tables in front of the door during a lock down drill.

Katie Arntz, Assistant Editor-in-Chief

The Lock Down Drill at the school has been undergoing some changes to improve the safety and strategy used to help keep staff and students safe in situations of a person coming into the school and making themselves a possible threat.

Before, when students were notified there was an internal lock-down, they would have to sit on the designated part of the classroom and stay silent.

The staff had the responsibility to turn off the lights and smart boards, as well as covering their windows and keep people silent to trick the intruder into thinking no one was in the classroom.

“Anyone that has graduated in the past decade knows exactly where we are in ever single classroom,” said World History teacher Mr. Newsome. “So [the alumni] know where to find us if they try to come back.”

Now, the new drill requires students to leave the building if they are not close to them, and meet in a designated area outside that students will know where to go to once outside.

“If it is a drill, there will be a spot where teachers and students will meet,” said Geometry teacher Mr. Collins. “As for if [the Lock Down] is real, it is left up to the students if they choose to leave campus.”

However, if the threat is located close by, students and staff are told to stay in the classroom along with barricading the doors and using anything in the room as weapons.

“Your instinct should be to fight for your life and we wanted kids to take that oppertunity,” said U.S. History teacher Mrs. Tanner.

The reasoning some people believe the procedure is changed because for students and teachers to be taking action and standing up for themselves rather than sitting and cooperating with the intruder.

Some teachers have already been thinking about plans if someone were to break into their classroom, whether that be by collecting metal pieces off of desks as weapons, or how they plan to unarm the intruder from their weapon.

“If it’s gun versus hole-puncher, you’re not going to win.,” said Tanner. “It’s more about trying to throw something at [the threat] long enough to distract them and disarm them than trying to injure the person.”

The staff were able to take a day back in October to get into groups and test out the procedure. Teachers were put into small groups and were in charge of barricading the doors, acting as the intruder, or throwing ‘weapons’ at the threat when they came in.

“Someone would have a foam suit on which was the intruder, and then we would have to throw dodge balls at them to represent the items,” said Mr. Collins.

The hands-on experience benefitted how to improve the drill and decide if they liked it better than the previous drill.

“I love [the new Lock Down Drill],” said Newsome. “[The procedure] helps me and my students get to safety faster and easier.”

There has not been word yet about when the modified version of the Lock Down Drill is going to be discussed with students yet or when the next Lock Down will be.