Why It's Important to Be Prepared for a School Lockdown Emergency

prepare school lockdown close schools locked down

Every year in the United States, around 3 million children are exposed to a school shooting. Being exposed to violence at a young age can have lasting effects on children. In fact, they may be more likely to abuse drugs and alcohol, participate in criminal activity, or suffer from mental illness. 

Schools need to do everything in their power to protect innocent children from the effects of school shootings. 

Don't let your staff and students become another one of the many tragedies of school lockdown stories. Instead, read this article to find out how you can be better prepared to lock down schools during emergencies. 

Practice Active Shooter Drills Regularly 

Just like a fire drill or a tornado drill, schools should add regular school lockdown drills to their schedule. These need to be practiced by both teachers and students so that everyone in the school is equally prepared. 

Have a certain codeword or sound set up over your intercom system to signal an active shooter situation or drill. Teachers should discuss with their students the best actions to take based on their classroom set up. Once the sound signals, students should feel comfortable taking action on their own, even without extra instructions from the teacher or an adult. 

Teachers Should Partake in ALICE Training 

When it comes to school lockdown procedures, ALICE training is the most trusted and widely used. ALICE is an acronym for alert, lockdown, inform, counter and evacuate. 

For alert, everyone should first become aware of the threat, understand the danger, and accept that the situation is serious. Lockdown occurs if evacuation is not possible. Instead, you should barricade any entry points. 

Inform means you need to make an effort to communicate with emergency personnel through a phone or the intercom system. Counter is used as a last resort in which you make noise, create distractions, or move to reduce the chance of a shooter accurately aiming at you. 

And the last step is to evacuate. When you deem the situation safe, remove yourself and anyone else from the danger zone and into safety. 

Equip Classrooms for Ultimate Safety 

To help improve school safety during these dangerous situations, you can properly equip each classroom. 

The most important thing to install is a barricade system on all doors, like this one from RhinoWare Connect. If it's extremely hard to make entry into a room, a school shooter will move on looking for easier targets. Or, if they're determined to make entry into a certain room, it will take them longer and give emergency responders time to arrive. 

You should also invest in a security system for the whole school. This will include cameras scattered around the school so you can see where the shooter is. It will also include an alarm that can be set off by anyone in the building if they identify a potentially dangerous situation. 

Be Prepared for a Possible School Lockdown 

School lockdown training is an important step for every school in the United States to take. 

Start by making sure your students and teachers take place in lockdown drills on a regular basis so they understand the steps to take. Make sure all your teachers participate in ALICE training so they can make educated decisions during a potential shooting. Finally, equip your classrooms with safety items to decrease the odds of tragedy, especially in the age of Covid-19 stress, online bullying, and mental illness increases. 

Wondering what other situations schools should prepare for? Browse the rest of this site for more informative articles for posts on student safety and Coronavirus pandemic best practices.

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