As the nation recovers from the unbelievable tragedy that rocked the town of Newtown, Conn., schools around our area have been taking extra precautions and conducting drills to ensure they know how to respond if the unthinkable were to occur.
At Culver Community Schools, students at the elementary school coincidentally conducted a lockdown drill the day before the Newtown tragedy occurred. After the tragedy, Superintendent Brad Schuldt said the middle school and high school conducted their lockdown drills, which is something the schools do annually.
Schuldt said schools strive to stay current on drill procedures, and their safety specialist remains up-to-date on the latest training from the state.
“I think that mainly schools now have been trying to be up-to-date on all the different kinds of possible things that could come up around the school, and every school has a school safety specialist who receives annual training. So our corporation has been having drills in that area for the last couple years. Culver Elementary had a lockdown drill last week in the middle of the week, and we had our middle school and high school this week complete the drill,” said Schuldt.
At Eastern Pulaski Schools, Superintendent Dr. Robert Klitzman said they also perform the drills throughout the year, but parents, administrators, and staff stay hopeful that they are just preparing for an event that will never take place.
“We have the drills; we practice them throughout the year. It’s just a horrible thing that happened. You can be prepared, and I think we are, and you just have to pray that you never have to use those things other than in a practice setting,” Klitzman said.
Schools around the nation conduct drills annually for lockdowns, fires, tornadoes, and other possible disasters. For security, Klitzman explained most schools utilize a buzzer system on every door that makes use of cameras to allow the secretary to question visitors before letting them in. If there is a lockdown, Klitzman said the doors automatically close and lock, adding another layer of protection. On top of that, he said there are safe areas for teachers to rush their kids in a lockdown situation.