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Old 12-14-2012, 07:39 PM   #16
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Several years ago when we did a drill, we decided that we needed a "code" word from the administration that would be included in the all-clear. If we didn't hear the code word, then we would know that that "all-clear" was coerced, and we were not to come out of lock-down.

We haven't had a drill recently. I think that will change.



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Old 12-14-2012, 07:45 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mjantz
One thing I'm going to ask that we consider adding is an off-campus 'safe area'. Sounds like a lot of those kids were told to head to the fire station. In the event of an emergency where we had to leave the campus completely I'd like the idea of a known safe area to congregate.
Our town has a monthly fire drill, a twice yearly lockdown drill and a once a year evacuation drill. The elementary school my kids go to evacuates to the Little League field complex, not sure about the HS, as my kids aren't there yet, and the middle school evacuates to the Catholic Church, as its the only nearby building that can hold the 900 or so students plus faculty. It's about a 5 block walk.
The elementary school used to go to the high school, but then they decided if they needed to evac, maybe another school isn't the best bet.

ETA:the problem is that the first stop is the school office, where the PA system is housed..and if a gunman comes in and starts shooting, he'll start with the office staff and then who is there to announce the lockdown school wide?
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Old 12-14-2012, 07:54 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JVL1018 View Post
Our town has a monthly fire drill, a twice yearly lockdown drill and a once a year evacuation drill. The elementary school my kids go to evacuates to the Little League field complex, not sure about the HS, as my kids aren't there yet, and the middle school evacuates to the Catholic Church, as its the only nearby building that can hold the 900 or so students plus faculty. It's about a 5 block walk.
The elementary school used to go to the high school, but then they decided if they needed to evac, maybe another school isn't the best bet.

ETA:the problem is that the first stop is the school office, where the PA system is housed..and if a gunman comes in and starts shooting, he'll start with the office staff and then who is there to announce the lockdown school wide?
At my school there were multiple rooms in the office. The greeting secretary had a PA, but so did every office in the back and the people in there would be alerted by the sound of gunfire.
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Old 12-14-2012, 07:55 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cornflake

This depends on the school - I never attended a school with deadbolts or anything close on the doors, or officers of any kind.

In general, I'd say if you're concerned, talk to the principal/head about the school's plans for such an event and what the teachers are meant to do and THEN discuss with your kids.
I can only speak of the last 14 years (since I was a high school student)...EVERY single classroom I have ever been in had the capability to be locked! Whether being the actual high school I attended or schools I student taught in or school I worked on, there was always a way to lock the door. Actually the last two schools I taught at would only allow us to have our door ajar was during passing period. Once class started, the doors were shut and at my last school it locked. This served two purposes, late kids had to go to the office for a late pass and two of god forbid we had this kind of situation, our doors were secured.

As far as the officer, again all high schools I have been (as a student or teacher) has had some kind of liaison/safety officer on staff. I kind of assumed most schools have such a thing (maybe not). When I was saying we had to wait for a uniformed official to give the ok, I was meaning the actual police force that would come in such an emergency.
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Old 12-14-2012, 07:56 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JVL1018 View Post
Our town has a monthly fire drill, a twice yearly lockdown drill and a once a year evacuation drill. The elementary school my kids go to evacuates to the Little League field complex, not sure about the HS, as my kids aren't there yet, and the middle school evacuates to the Catholic Church, as its the only nearby building that can hold the 900 or so students plus faculty. It's about a 5 block walk.
The elementary school used to go to the high school, but then they decided if they needed to evac, maybe another school isn't the best bet.

ETA:the problem is that the first stop is the school office, where the PA system is housed..and if a gunman comes in and starts shooting, he'll start with the office staff and then who is there to announce the lockdown school wide?
It appears that may have happened this AM. Also a lone armed cop or security guard isn't much use either. We all know how that worked out in Columbine

As a parent of 3 school age daughters, this strikes home. I came home today and sat on the couch just holding my daughters. I was almost brought to tears today thinking of the families and innocents slain today.

Even with a school "lockdown" herding staff and children into rooms with no alternate exit makes easy "kill boxes" for would be murders.

I think the only way to prevent further tragedies is to do what Israel figured out decades ago. Arm the (willing) teachers and faculty with concealed handguns. There hasn't been a successful mass shooting (and there have been attempts) in an Israeli school since they armed the teachers and administrators.
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Old 12-14-2012, 08:15 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MolonLabe View Post
It appears that may have happened this AM. Also a lone armed cop or security guard isn't much use either. We all know how that worked out in Columbine

As a parent of 3 school age daughters, this strikes home. I came home today and sat on the couch just holding my daughters. I was almost brought to tears today thinking of the families and innocents slain today.

Even with a school "lockdown" herding staff and children into rooms with no alternate exit makes easy "kill boxes" for would be murders.

I think the only way to prevent further tragedies is to do what Israel figured out decades ago. Arm the (willing) teachers and faculty with concealed handguns. There hasn't been a successful mass shooting (and there have been attempts) in an Israeli school since they armed the teachers and administrators.
My dd's HS is an open campus with buildings spread out. Anyone would be able to get in there. There is no security other than the full time police resource officer who is armed at all times.

However your comment above is interesting, because there are many exits out of the school. Would be very hard to lock down in an actual emergency like this. Kids would be running for the doors.
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Old 12-14-2012, 08:20 PM   #22
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To the PP who mentioned making sure your child's school has an off site evacuation point: they probably do. All of our schools do. But the exact location is not widely advertised outside of staff.

Many school rooms do have the capability of being locked, but I have worked in schools where you must have the key to the actual door to lock it, from the inside or the out. That scares me for situations like these because the only way to know if it is locked is to test the handle from the outside. IT also takes time to get the key and insert it into a door, turn it, and then shut the door. I think a lot of schools will be re evaluating everything from their door hardware to their safety plans as we learn more about this particular tragedy.
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Old 12-14-2012, 08:22 PM   #23
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I'm with first grade this year (as a para). I had a group of 7 kids in my broom closet of a workroom when we had our lock down drill. A couple of them decided to snicker and cut up during the drill so we had a serious talk about how important it was to be absolutely quiet if we ever had to go through it again. I didn't go into specifics but I did tell them that the more quiet we were, the less likely anyone would try to get in our room if there was a bad guy in the school.
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Old 12-14-2012, 08:26 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Mystery Machine View Post
My dd's HS is an open campus with buildings spread out. Anyone would be able to get in there. There is no security other than the full time police resource officer who is armed at all times.

However your comment above is interesting, because there are many exits out of the school. Would be very hard to lock down in an actual emergency like this. Kids would be running for the doors.
There isn't an easy answer for this. We've seen shooters take advantage of both students running outside, then we started "locking them down" and the murders adapted and used that to kill even more people.

A lockdown would make much more sense if the staff locked in the room had the ability to fight back and actually protect the children huddled behind them. Without the ability to defend themselves and their students, you are just making a target rich environment.

The best approach would be an armed staff being able to defend the locked down class rooms buying time and stopping or slowing any murderer(s) down until more good guys with guns can show up and put down the insane murder(s).
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Old 12-14-2012, 08:27 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by Friend of a Mouse View Post
To the PP who mentioned making sure your child's school has an off site evacuation point: they probably do. All of our schools do. But the exact location is not widely advertised outside of staff.
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This is my workplace, not my kids school & I'm pretty sure they don't have a plan.
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Old 12-14-2012, 08:45 PM   #26
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I would hope they have an intruder on campus plan and practice it, just like the monthly fire drills, and here in California, earthquake and flood drills.

We used to do nuclear drills in school.....which as we grew older kind of seemed like a waste, because if the Russians had dropped a nuclear device, we would have been instantly vaporized no matter what we did.
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Old 12-14-2012, 08:46 PM   #27
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We have a code in our district for intruders in the building or outside of the building & it is practiced multiple times throughout the year-sometimes scheduled and other times random, in that teachers have no idea if its real or practice.

We use this procedure for every grade, even at the preschool. In my 4 years of working there, we have had to implement it twice (#1=attempted kidnapping-child custody case; #2=man with a gun lurking outside of the school)
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Old 12-14-2012, 09:43 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by torinsmom View Post
Our school has a fence on three sides with a gate that is locked.
My biggest fear is a truck smashing through the fence during recess with a lunatic behind the wheel


For small children, "run and/or hide" is probably the best bet. HS or older, hopefully someone stands up & fights. I did see something interesting today stating that despite today's tragedy, our elementary schools remain one of the safest places our children could ever be. But, until they're 100% safe (which unfortunately, would be impossible), that's not good enough.
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Old 12-14-2012, 09:48 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by thedonduck View Post
I can only speak of the last 14 years (since I was a high school student)...EVERY single classroom I have ever been in had the capability to be locked! Whether being the actual high school I attended or schools I student taught in or school I worked on, there was always a way to lock the door. Actually the last two schools I taught at would only allow us to have our door ajar was during passing period. Once class started, the doors were shut and at my last school it locked. This served two purposes, late kids had to go to the office for a late pass and two of god forbid we had this kind of situation, our doors were secured.

As far as the officer, again all high schools I have been (as a student or teacher) has had some kind of liaison/safety officer on staff. I kind of assumed most schools have such a thing (maybe not). When I was saying we had to wait for a uniformed official to give the ok, I was meaning the actual police force that would come in such an emergency.
All the rooms I've been in from grade school on up had the capability of being locked & most were pretty sturdy doors. We had no resource officer in my day, still don't at grade school level. And the HS one is shared by the middle school, so he may not even be on hand.

I guess I grew up in a simpler time. It wasn't unusual to see pickups with gunracks (and guns) in our parking lot in high school, and a pocket knife wasn't considered a "weapon" unless it opened to 9" overall length or more.
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Old 12-14-2012, 09:55 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by thedonduck View Post
I can only speak of the last 14 years (since I was a high school student)...EVERY single classroom I have ever been in had the capability to be locked! Whether being the actual high school I attended or schools I student taught in or school I worked on, there was always a way to lock the door. Actually the last two schools I taught at would only allow us to have our door ajar was during passing period. Once class started, the doors were shut and at my last school it locked. This served two purposes, late kids had to go to the office for a late pass and two of god forbid we had this kind of situation, our doors were secured.

As far as the officer, again all high schools I have been (as a student or teacher) has had some kind of liaison/safety officer on staff. I kind of assumed most schools have such a thing (maybe not). When I was saying we had to wait for a uniformed official to give the ok, I was meaning the actual police force that would come in such an emergency.
No safety officer or anything close to that, no. I don't doubt these exist in many schools - I know a large public school that does have a security guard or whatever, but I know other that have nothing and no school I attended did.

The locks probably depends on the school, when it was built, what type of building it's in, etc. My elementary school had no locks, h.s. some locks in the knobs but they were as someone above said, like key things I think and only some and random and I don't think keys were widely propogated. I don't remember ever running into a locked door, even going into labs or whatever off hours. Oh, not true, the costume/prop closet behind the theatre was locked, that was a pita, heh.
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