CCS holds lockdown drills

Published 1:41 pm Monday, August 27, 2018

By JOYANNA LOVE/ Senior Staff Writer

Nearly every campus of Chilton County Schools has completed its first lockdown drill of the semester.

The drills help students, faculty and staff rehearse how to properly respond to a threat at the school, such as an active shooter situation.

Safe Schools coordinator Mickey Hardwick said state law requires that all schools have a lockdown drill during the first six weeks of the school year.

Procedures during the drill follow each specific school’s safety plan.

Hardwick said teachers received additional training on what to do during a lockdown prior to the start of school.

For this first drill, students knew ahead of time what day it would be.

“This first time around we wanted to have everyone mentally prepared on what to do should something happen,” Hardwick said.

While some Chilton County Schools have been on lockdown in the past, an active shooter has never been in any of the schools, according to Hardwick.

State law requires lockdown drills twice a year, but CCS will have the drills more frequently.

Hardwick said so far each of the schools have done well in the drills.

“They were better prepared,” Hardwick said.

He said the goal in the younger grades is to “really help them understand why they are doing what they are doing.”

These drills could help a student be more calm in the event of an actual threat.

“The last thing we need is panic,” Hardwick said.

The date for the first drill at each school was chosen by the principal. Hardwick said this was to ensure that the drill would not be in the middle of testing. While the principal knew what time of day the drill would take place, the teachers at some schools were not told what time the drill would be.

Additional security measures are being taken at the schools with secondary secure entrances inside the schools and enclosing open campuses. Hardwick said designs have been worked on, and the project is being bid out.

“Every school now has a secure measure at the front to prevent what we can prevent,” Hardwick said.

He said the school system “has come a long way” in the area of school security.