According to the Washington Post, 210,000 children have been victim to school shootings since lock down procedures were put in place in 1999. While at the time this concept was new, over time the procedure and its steps have remained stagnant, evoking a critical amount of worry, around the country due to the outdated duck and hide procedure. Drills need examination and constant review.
“Many lock down procedures follow the shelter-in-place method, which usually does not suggest evacuation and rather hiding,” said ADT Security, a popular security company on their website. This procedure method has not changed in many schools since it had been enforced. This can cause some external problems regarding safety.
According to a case study performed by The Statistics Portal on their website, school shooters are most commonly 17 to 18 years of age. This means that most of them have recently been in the school system and are highly aware of the procedures put in place. This allows much easier access to schools and the victims inside them.
For example, in most cases if a student were to graduate and become an attacker, they would be quite familiar with the procedures of the lock down.
The constant change of the procedures could easily limit the casualties surrounding such tragedy.
Schools around the United States have made effective changes surrounding the lock down procedures.
According to Alexandria School District’s Communications Director, Helen Lloyd, Alexandria School District in Virginia, has fostered a process that is heavily devoted to communication. If an intruder were to enter the building, the intercom rather than just initiating a lock down, states the location, appearance, and times at each location of the intruder. This form of communication, as shown at the Alexandria City School District, is very different that the typical form of communication, presented in schools like South
Joliet Junior College has also incorporated a message alert system, which alerts students and staff if a danger is on campus.
Even the Plainfield Consolidated School District 202 has emerged with some much-needed changes.
Within the last year, PSD202 has implicated the A.L.I.C.E lock down procedure.
According to PSD202’s superintendent, Lane Abrell, this new program incorporates more options rather than just ducking and hiding. There is now the option to evacuate, and if it comes to it, distract the intruder. This procedure while seemingly innovative, has been called into question with regards to question whether it is enough.
Teachers such as Jeff Jarot, state that we can never be sure if anything is effective unless the event in question were to take place. Obviously, the event would never be wished to occur, but it shows there cannot be a true evaluation of its assurance.
However, as shown just throughout the Plainfield-Joliet area, there are a myriad of procedures in which could procure a safer environment for the students and staff. This highlights the importance of a variety of procedures in order to obtain a higher level of safety in current and future school districts.