Unannounced lockdown drill provides practice for staff and students


Roy Nitzan

Students and teachers were left hiding in classrooms in the morning as an announcement went off calling for an unexpected lockdown drill. Many were taken by surprise by this unannounced practice drill.

Lucas Barr, Editor-in-Chief

Students and teachers spent approximately 10 minutes during first period hiding in dark classrooms as part of a lockdown drill, however unlike with other practice procedures, the majority of the school’s faculty was not given prior knowledge of an impending drill.

It’s all part of a regular plan to have one announced and one unannounced drill each semester.

“The announced lockdown drill is to just double check everybody,” assistant principal Jason Harris said. “When we do a announced lockdown drill, all the assistant principals and our counselors, they have a checklist and we go through each classroom to ensure that each thing is followed like they have a student roster, the blinds are closed, the doors locked and that’s just to make sure everybody’s on the same page as far as the announced lockdown. Everybody knows what the expectations are. The reason for the unannounced lockdown is to just see how alert we are in you know, are we ready? Are we prepared in the event that we have an actual lockdown?”

Prioritizing student safety, there’s one thing Harris wants everybody on campus to take away from Wednesday’s lockdown drill.

“The most important thing that you students and teachers staff know about lockdown is just get to the quickest, safest area as possible and stay there until you hear an off call typically from [school resource officer Glen] Hubbard,” he said. “We also send her a mind message to all staff once we are clear to come out of lockdown. Just as quickly as you can find a safe location and stay there.”

Junior Bella Devega was initially startled by the lockdown, but recognizes the drill as a chance to prepare for a real incident.

“When the voice came over the speakers telling us to go into lockdown, I assumed it was just a normal drill,” Devega said. “When my teacher said she hadn’t heard anything about a drill I was a little nervous and it felt like we were in lockdown longer than normal. When I heard the handle jiggle and then silence I knew it was just the APs checking our room. Everyone in my class reacted quickly so it’s good to know we are prepared.”

Social studies teacher Jennifer Nelken saw the drill as a learning experience.

“I moved very quickly, and my students did as well,” Nelken said via email. “We were not in our classroom, but the computer lab, so I had to cover the door quickly with the supplies around the lab. I think it was very beneficial to have one unannounced as students and teachers can be more prepared and improve our overall safety. I learned that my students are quick to react and very trustworthy and care about each other in moments of uncertainty.”