Security preps pay off during campus shooting

It’s something school campuses practice every year. On Tuesday, it was the real deal and Roosevelt High School put their lockdown drill into play.

“If there is a lockdown, teachers are trained to get everyone into a classroom, even if it’s not their student. In the hallways, do a quick sweep everybody. Come in, lockdown, shut off the lights, lock the door, away from the windows, and remain quiet,” Department of Education Safety and Security Director Mark Behrens said.

That’s exactly what they did after shots were fired on campus during a struggle between a non-active student and two officers.

“During my eight years with the DOE in the safety office, these are the exact conditions that we try to get the schools to practice. The lockdown, the evacuation,” said Richard Soo, former DOE safety specialist.

Soo says in the last decade, public schools in the state have stepped up the level of emergency drills.

“I feel very secure that our children are really safe in the public school system,” Soo said.

Technology also played a part on Tuesday. The DOE immediately sent an alert to parents about the lockdown.

“All the parents did get a phone call from the Roosevelt 24-hour automated service stating the school is on lockdown, the situation is under control, all the students are safe,” parent Faith Kalamau said.

At the beginning of every school year, parents give an emergency contact for the DOE to call whenever there is a situation on campus.

But some parents were critical of how they were alerted.

“From the start, they didn’t tell us anything about it. I had to hear it from them by texting, so I thought that was stupid,” parent Fionna Kim said.

Parents with students at nearby schools were also sent an emergency alert about the lockdown.

“Every time we have a drill or a real incident, we meet afterwards and do an after-action review to discuss what went well and what can we improve,” Behrens said.

The DOE says parents can call their child’s school to update their emergency contact information.

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