Prepared to Protect

With the recent mass shootings, faculty and staff regularly prepare to defend and protect the school.


Tribune News Service

Students head back to school at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Wednesday, Feb. 28 for the first time after a gunman killed 17 students in the school Feb. 14.

Kelly Nugent, Web Editor-in-Chief

In the weeks since the mass school shooting in Parkland Florida, threats against schools nationally have risen 500 percent, from 10 threats a day to 50, according to The New York Times. Although no threats have been made to the immediate community, faculty and staff still prepare for active shooter situations with a plan to Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter and Evacuate.

“Physical drills have been implemented with the faculty and staff for the last three years,” Director of Security Dave LeManske said. “The teachers, faculty and staff have been prepped to direct and coordinate an actual even using ALICE and can follow up with students in the classroom with scenarios, communication and practice.”

In addition to the ALICE drills, all doors are locked during school hours, security officers patrol campus and multiple security cameras are constantly monitored throughout the day, according to LeManske. All the precautions and procedures in place create a safe environment where an active shooter is not a constant fear, according to junior Claire Lewing.

“I never really think my safety’s at risk when I’m at school,” Lewing said. “With all the security we have, I could never see something happening here.”

The Parkland shooting has sparked nationwide movements including the National Walk Out March 14, when students at 10 a.m. are supposed to walk out of school and sit on school grounds for the remainder of the day to protest the lack of gun control laws. For private schools, it is up to the administration to decide whether or not students will be allowed to participate without consequences as they are not controlled by the state. Although students do have the right to express their beliefs, teachers do not want classrooms disrupted by students walking out, according to Assistant Principal For Student Life Fran Koehler.

“We would like to facilitate an educational piece rather than miss another day of school,” Koehler said.