New lockdown drill simulates real life situation
Conant students and staff recently practiced a new procedure for a hard lockdown in order to make the drill more similar to a real-life situation. The drill took place on Oct. 26 between second and third periods.
One of the biggest changes to the drill is that it was initiated by a student, handpicked by the administration. The student was instructed to yell “lockdown” down the hallways. Other students and staff were then encouraged to yell down the hallways to alert others in all areas of the school. They were also told to continue yelling or pressing the emergency button in classrooms until they heard the lockdown tone from the office coming over speakers.
White Team Assistant Principal Thomas Mocon said, “The biggest takeaway from doing this drill during a passing period is for all Cougars to communicate with others–friends and people they don’t know–that there is a lockdown.”
Students and faculty were told to find the nearest classroom or exit. Once in a classroom, they were to lock the door, turn off all of the lights, and stay away from all windows and doors. Students and staff near an outside door went out of the building and gathered on the football field. People in bathrooms were told to get in a stall and crouch on the toilet.
Not all students complied exactly with instructions. Mocon said, “When the tone goes off, students should run to the nearest exit. Unfortunately, a lot of students were running toward their third period classes, passing numerous secure points and exits along the way.”
By doing the drill during a passing period, the administration was able to see how students and faculty would react during the lockdown without being in the safety of a classroom.
Mocon explained, “Doing this during a passing period taught our administrative team a lot about what supports we need to provide students and staff.”
Most students believe that while not perfect, the new lockdown drill went well.
Nicole Brashears, ‘19, said, “When the lockdown happened, I was near the auditorium and happened to be pulled into Mrs. Modelski’s speech class. We did struggle a bit due to issues with the door and having an open classroom, but I think the teachers were able to handle it very well.”
Allison Sadural, ‘18, said, “My lockdown experience seemed like a normal drill because I was in a science classroom with my AP Biology teacher.”
Another practice drill–with less warning–will take place this year after administrators review how this lockdown went and make any changes to the process.