Local schools talk safety
Oct. 29, 2013 — School shootings can often be unpredictable; striking a random location many believed was impenetrable.
In lieu of the of the shooting at the Sparks middle school on Monday, Oct. 21, which left two dead, including the jr. high shooter, Lassen County schools are making sure campuses are safe on top of their already regular safety drills and communications standards.
According to Fort Sage Middle School Principal/ Superintendent Bryan Young, “We’re trying to supervise kids at all times — you never know what’s going to happen.”
However, according to Young, emergency drills are regularly practiced. He also said teachers participate in a practice drill called a “teach to” that shows students where to go in an emergency event.
Fort Sage Middle School shares a campus with Herlong High School which combined has about 100 enrolled students seventh through twelfth grade.
Additionally, Janesville School Superintendent/Principal Zach Thurman claimed the school annually participates in two lockdown drills with the sheriff’s office. Deputies will walk around during the lockdown and point out ways to improve safety.
Also, according to Thurman, if an emergency event were to take place on campus, parents would either be called by the school, or through the Alert Now System which sends a recorded message to all phone numbers entered in the system. Janesville recently used this system to reassure parents and explain the situation that spread throughout social media concerning a threat made by a student.
Currently, the school is in the process of finalizing their emergency plan, yet Thurman recognized there is little one can do to stop violence if someone has already made up their mind to inflict harm on others.
Overall local schools practice drills regularly and spend time educating staff and students how to handle the rare situations.
“It’s something we can improve on,” said Thurman. “And it’s something we’ll continually look at and talk about.”
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