On Feb. 2 around 1:40 p.m. students and staff were directed into lockdown mode.
Students have been directed to perform lockdown drills many times, and they know what to do: go to a designated spot in the classroom; if in the hall, go to the nearest classroom; teachers lock the doors, but leave the lights on. It can become rote and mechanical. Worse, it can become complacent.
“It’s fair to say that the students don’t really take it seriously. We just go through the motions at best, or at worse, completely ignore the directions,” said senior Kaden Gaylord.
This drill was a wake-up call. According to WLEX, two high schools were affected by an accidental trigger of an “intruder alert” alarm: Dunbar and Henry Clay. Over the intercom, students heard “We’re in lock down” over and over.
Because it was an accidental trigger, students and teachers did not know about it ahead of time, so they took it seriously.
While Henry Clay was mid-class when the lockdown occurred, Dunbar students addressed concerns over the the likelihood of a drill going into effect during the transition to fourth block.
Ironically, Feb. 2 was also #MarshallStrong day in which faculty, staff and students all over the state of Kentucky wore the Marshall County High School colors of blue and orange to show support for the recent school shooting on their campus.
“It was eerie to be wearing those colors, supporting that school, and to be in a lockdown that we didn’t know was a drill,” said senior Sharon Chen.
Guns have been found on FCPS campuses, including our own school. That, paired with the recent Marshall County shooting, made many consider the prospect of it being a real incident.
“When a tragedy like this strikes so close to home, we realize the risk of something like this happening to us,” said senior Santiago Duque. “It’s elevated.”
There’s no exact science to prepare for a school shooting–there are too many factors to consider and too much guesswork about the particulars. Plus, you can’t know how people might react in the moment. The best thing to do is have a plan in place, and to ensure that staff and students know exactly what to do–and today they did it in record time.