As a member of the door and hardware industry, my focus with regard to classroom lockdown is how to provide security without jeopardizing safety. Lt. Joseph Hendry of the Kent State University Police Department looks at the issue from a slightly different (and valuable) perspective…
Why Lockdown Training for Active Threats and Terrorism has left the building… and why schools and parents don’t know!
Joseph Hendry, CLEE
Police Lieutenant at Kent State University
My third grader came home today and explained that she had lockdown training. My 23 year old ALICE trained college graduate daughter and I listened with rapt attention at what she had been taught. She said her teacher taught them to “pile” (her exact word) into the corner and stay quiet and not move (extremely bad!). She said they were supposed to get as closer together as possible (worse!). The teacher then turned out the lights, closed and locked the door (ok-but that’s just the start!). I asked if she pulled the drapes and was told “nope” (good tactic for an interior threat).
I then asked if she knew what the drill was for and she told me that it was if someone was in the building that wasn’t supposed to be there or an animal was in the building. I’m all right with that as a police officer, parent and trainer, because children at that age need enough information to understand what they are doing without scaring them. My oldest and I then began to ask some very basic questions. What were you supposed to do if the “someone” was in the room? (Wasn’t discussed) What about the Cafeteria? Play ground? Gym? (Nope, no direction either!) Hallway? She lit up a little bit and said “We are supposed to go in a room. If we can’t get in a room we are supposed to hide in a locker or go in the bathroom and stand on the toilet so they can’t see our feet!” I asked her if she was told it was “ok” to leave the building and where she should go if she did leave. She said she wasn’t allowed to leave the school. No rally point had ever been discussed.
Re-training for survival, not accountability, then commenced in the living room…