Following procedures to stay safe at school

Recently the 20 year  anniversary of Columbine happened. School shootings have been more and more common over the years. This leaves students, families and staff as worried as ever.

Many procedures have been implemented into the curriculum to help prepare students in a case of an emergency.

However at East, when it comes time to do a lockdown drill, students and staff do not adhere by the rules. Of course it is only a drill and there is no actual danger, however, it is in place for a reason.

The drills prepare students and faculty for the threat of a school shooting. It’s imperative for school to be prepared and ready for an emergency to happen, especially when it’s as threatening as a school shooting.

School safety procedures include lockouts and lockdowns. Lockouts are performed when there is a threat in the near area, but outside of the building.

Students and staff would go along their day as normal, however the doors will all be locked and will not let in any visitors. Parents will be notified about any threats to the school.

If the threat becomes more dangerous and has entered the building, that is when lockdowns are to happen. Lockdowns mean locks, lights, out of sight.

Instructors are meant to lock doors, turn off the lights and joining the huddle of students who are hiding out of the line of sight from the door.

In an evacuation scenario the announcement will be “to announced location” and in a scenario when students must take shelter, instructors will tell students how and where.

According to  the Center of Homeland Security and Defense, there were seven gun incidents in Nebraska in all of history. Last year alone 165 victims were killed or injured in the U.S. during school shootings.

It is possible for incidents like these, where students and staff get injured and killed, to happen at East. Students should be prepared for emergencies like this especially when it can cost them not only their lives, but the lives of many others.

Being prepared can do more than save lives; it can help reduce anxiety and panic when the actual event might happen, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

When the anxiety of a school shooting is reduced, it can reduce the stress as well, which can make it easier and faster to recover. By one person being confident and prepared it can give others a sense of security and safety as well. When students are ready in an emergency, it can make it less scary and less dangerous.

There are certain guidelines to adhere by stated by FEMA and the American Red Cross. These drills are put in place to brace students so they are aware how to stay safe.

The drills are put in place for a reason and should be taken seriously. Students can never be over prepared; it does not hurt anyone to do the drill properly.

That means going where instructed, staying silent, and not doing anything else. It is important that students and staff are well equipped to deal with an emergency so dangerous as a school shooting.