On Monday morning, students and staff locked down classrooms, barricaded doors, and considered plans of exit from school as part of the run, hide, defend drill.
Teachers presented a powerpoint that showed students how to make a proper barricade in their third periods, then were given an announcement that the drill had begun and practiced locking down and hiding.
“As we know these situations are more common in our community,” she said. “I think that we are as prepared as we could possibly be by educating our staff and our students and how to best respond to them and, and by practicing them even though they’re nerve racking for many teachers and students.”
According to Assistant Principal Daniela Quiñones, the drill was part of a California requirement for schools to practice the event of an active shooter situation and routine. Quiñones said the increase in instances of active shooters in the past year, however, is not routine.
According to a survey created by administration and sent out to students after the drill at 11:00, 82 percent of students say they feel they have “more understanding of how to ensure their safety.”
Rules go out the window and safety is of the utmost importance. Assessing the situation,… that’s something you have to decide, spur of the moment.
One of the students who participated in the Drill, Hope Stafford, said she feels that although the school is making an effort to practice drills, she is still worried about what would occur in the event of an active threat.
According to Stafford, she feels that students don’t always take drills seriously; thus, it is hard for students to imagine what a real active-shooter crisis would be like.
“You just don’t get any realistic feeling from them,” Stafford said.
Quiñones said that a lot of student safety depends on how students and staff respond and act in the moment. She said that “thinking on your feet” is the most important factor if there were to be an actual emergency on campus.
“It’s all rules go out the window and safety is of the utmost importance. Assessing the situation, deciding if it’s safer to run or safer to hide and lock down and barricade. That’s something you have to decide, spur of the moment,” Quiñones said.
According to Quiñones, these skills are necessary to have in general right now, not just at school.
“It could be anywhere, in church or at the movie theater or at the mall,” she said. “So, really just knowing, how to assess your safety [in each situation].”