In an effort to add another layer to our practice of safety and intruder drills, we are going to begin doing monthly "Stay in Place Building-Wide Drills". These are five minute drills that can be used for any type of hazard, whether it be a violent intruder, weather related incident, or structural failures.
The way it will work: an emergency drill will be announced over the PA system. After the situation is announced, teachers and students will have five minutes to discuss the situation, how you would handle as a class, and what steps you would take in responding. The end of the drill will be announced again over the PA system. The first of these will be next week.
By conducting this quick and simple drill each month, students, faculty, and staff will become accustomed to thinking about how to respond in a variety of hazards.
In addition, a more extensive intruder drill has been planned for sometime during the week of March 19th. Most of you probably remember the very large school wide emergency preparedness drill we did just a year and a half ago. This intruder drill will be on a much smaller scale, but we do want to practice options of what we can do if an intruder is in the building.
For this intruder drill we are going to practice a modified lockdown drill, what we would do if the best choice for survival was to stay in place, and not evacuate. However, we don't want you to just stay in place and do nothing. We want you to do whatever you can to stop an intruder from getting into the space you are in. This can be anything from locking doors, using the safety bolts on each door, blocking the entrance with furniture, pulling down shades so an intruder can't see inside, or covering classroom door windows by taping paper over the glass.
While you are in lockdown, we also want you to think about things you could use to take down an intruder if they made it into your classroom. What could you throw at them to get the intruder off balance? You could use books, be ready to throw a desk, computers, ipads, anything that could buy you valuable seconds to escape and get to safety. We want you to have these things ready during this drill.
While you are in lockdown, members of faculty and staff will be walking around the building, pulling on doors, trying to look inside. Do not make it easy. Practice as if it were real.
Two things I want you to remember when we do this drill. First, remember that you must be silent. If the decision is made to lockdown, you do not want to do anything to draw attention to the room you are in. You must practice the drill the way it would really be done. Second, always remember that if there is a real intruder event, the main goal is always to get out if you can do so safely. If you, and the teacher you are with determine by announcements you may hear, that it is safe to evacuate, that is what we want you to do. If at all possible, get out and get to safety. Our evacuation site is the LCHS Stadium. In the case of inclement weather, we evacuate to Shaffer Elementary School.
We know it can be scary to think about bad things that can happen. We know that the recent tragic events are still on everyone's mind. But that is why we need to practice things like this, so that you know what to do if you ever have to think quickly to stay safe and stay alive. Your safety is always our main concern.