AHS: Lockdown was routine, planned

Published 10:48 am Friday, November 15, 2013

Austin High School held the second code red lockdown drill in a week Thursday, and though some parents were confused, school officials say they followed the same lockdown protocol they always do.

AHS Principal Brad Bergstrom said the only thing different about Thursday’s lockdown drill was it took place in the same week as another drill, which took place Monday.

“It was a normal code red that we do here,” Bergstrom said.

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Though Bergstrom said he heard from some parents and students who were concerned they weren’t notified about the drill, the district’s policy is to treat each drill as if it were a real-life situation, which meant the school didn’t give out notice of the drill in advance or let parents know when it was finished.

In the past, some staff and parents have suggested teachers continue to teach during a lockdown situation, but Bergstrom said safety experts agree to not continue teaching and to get students to shelter in the event of a serious event.

“We practice as if it’s the real deal,” Bergstrom said.

Bergstrom will take feedback from the lockdown to the school’s safety committee, which in the past has upheld current district practices. Schools are required by law to do five lockdown drills a year. In Austin, local police bring K-9 units into the school as part of the drill in order to practice searching through lockers.

School officials also found out Thursday there were some areas of AHS which can’t clearly hear directions given over the intercom. Staff plan to tweak the intercom system Friday, according to Bergstrom.