In an effort to increase school safety, the staff participated in a lockdown drill on Sept. 24 that included the Downers Grove police department firing blanks to recreate what an actual school shooting might sound like.
Although teachers have never been in an actual lockdown situation, they have their instincts and training to guide students and make the right decisions in an actual emergency.
Each teacher was told to act like it was a normal day and head off to his/her first period class where the lockdown began soon after.
Although all of the teachers were informed of the lockdown ahead of time, it was still an eye opening experience for many.
Social studies teacher Lois Graham, feels strongly about having these types of drills. Graham thinks that lockdown drills are necessary, especially if students had an evacuation because it would be good practice for different scenarios that might happen during an actual lockdown.
Graham feels teachers should have the option to evacuate if necessary instead of sitting around and being the victim. “The ultimate goal is to keep the greatest number of kids safe,” Graham said.
Science department chairperson and teacher, Michael Heinz, also felt that lockdown drills are necessary. Heinz said that if there was a door nearby that the students or staff could use, then they should take advantage of that opportunity. “As sad as it is to say, in the society we live in, I do think that it is an important component to put people in that real situation.”
Along with the new lockdown drill plans, studnts participated in a new kind of fire drill on Oct. 6. The Downers Grove fire department blocked the doors to the 2nd floor stairwell.
This was altered because in the case of a real fire, some parts of the building may be blocked so the students and staff would need to practice using an alternative route.
“The fire department does this periodically so that staff and students can practice using an alternative route without notice,” Dr. Ken Sorensen, Associate Principal, said. Overall, the drill took six minutes. This took longer than most drills due to the blocked stairwell and classes having to use different exits.
Angelica Barylowicz | News Editor