On Monday, May 3, a practice code yellow lock down was put into effect. The drill lasted about 35 minutes and tested more than just student and teacher efficiency.
During the duration of the drill, various security and surveillence operations were tested and a full school drug search was put into effect. “We had planned to have the lock down so that we could practice several types of emergency procedures…it was a room to room search of every classroom,” said Ms. Mary Andersen, assistant principal.
Code yellow signifies a medium threat and allows students and teachers to continue what they are doing so long as they are securely locked in the rooms. “We want the teachers to just have their doors locked and the kids in the room. You can still have the blinds up, you can still have lights on, you can still be talking,” said Ms. Andersen.
The main use of a code yellow drill is to prepare for a situation where a student brings contraband to school or signs of danger pop up within the neighborhood. “It mimicks the potential situation where you have to go room for room looking for a student who may have a gun or something on them…it’s a good thing to practice every once in a while,” said Ms. Andersen.
Throughout the 35 minutes the drill was in place, three drug dogs searched the common areas, such as the commons and theater, and about 60 classrooms. “We planned on having at least one of the searches this year to be of all the classrooms and as we started to plan it we realized that the most effective way to search all of the classrooms is to lock it down,” said Ms. Andersen.
No one, not even the teachers were fully aware of when and what was happening with the lock down. “They knew that in the next couple of weeks we were going to perform an extended period lock down, but that’s all they knew. They didn’t even know about the dog,” said Ms. Andersen.
However, the drug search was not the most important aspect of the drill: the newly implemented security system throughout BSM grounds was also being tested. “There are a couple other parts to our security system that we tested out that I’m not going to comment on, but we did test some other security procedures,” said Ms. Andersen.
The lock down covered everything administration hoped to accomplish and will be continually used in the future. “[The drill] went really well,” said Ms. Andersen, “We have to have a system in place, what is the best way to go room to room.”