Since the school shootings at Columbine 14 years ago and now after the shootings at Newtown, Bishop Schools practice what is called Lock Down Drills.
Superintendent of Bishop Schools, Barry Simpson, said that the practice of the drills has been “stepped up since Newtown.” He explained that a Lock Down Drill will prepare students and teachers to react if an intruder poses a threat. He said teachers lock classroom doors, cover the door window and keep students silent.
Simpson said the school also uses a Three in One Drill. In conjunction with the Lock Down Drill, students also do an evacuation drill and third, hide under their desks for an earthquake drill. Generally, the faculty is aware when ahead of time when drills take place but students are not. An announcement goes out over the PA system and the drill starts.
The Superintendent said, “We learn things each time.” He said teachers ask the students to be silent with the doors locked and windows blocked. Principles then walk the halls to check the silence. Simpson said Lock Down Drills are not new and have been going on since Columbine, but have increased since the Sandy Hook School shootings and the local emphasis on school safety among school officials and law enforcement.
Simpson said most important for the schools is that students share information about other kids that might have problems and need help. He said there have been instances of this. He said the big thing is to educate students about the realities. Said Simpson, “Our kids are growing up in a different world.”
There was an incident recently in which one student had reported that another had a gun in his back pack. Turned out he didn’t. The school bus driver had pulled over, took the bag and checked it.
Simpson said during his tenure no one has ever had a firearm on campus. He did say that someone brought an airsoft gun that shoots plastic pellets and replica toy guns, but not the real thing. Simpson said, “We take all of that very seriously. There have been no real serious situations with guns.”