When tragedy strikes, it is better to be prepared for the worst than to hope for the best. A school lockdown is a security measure used to keep students safe during an emergency. Whether a threat originates from inside or outside a building, these lockdowns require proper preparation and training to keep people safe. Here are some of the best things students, teachers, and staff can do to prepare for a school lockdown.
What is a School Lockdown?
A school lockdown is intended to keep students and staff safe in their classrooms as they shelter in place from an active shooter or other imminent threat. During a lockdown, all doors are locked, and no one enters or exits the building. Students and staff are instructed to wait quietly in their classrooms with the lights off and stay out of sight from windows and doors. The goal of a lockdown is to make sure everyone inside the building remains safe and secure until help arrives and the building is cleared.
Best Practices for School Lockdowns
Preparation is key in any emergency, especially during a school lockdown. In high-stress situations, people rely on prior training to react and calmly get to safety. To be ready for any scenario, schools must formulate protocols and ensure that all staff and students are properly trained to quickly respond.
- Establishing a clear communication system with local law enforcement
- Regularly evaluating safety plans and making adjustments as needed
- Ensuring the school has proper safety measures in place
- Ensuring floor plan maps are up to date
- Providing safety protocols to all students and staff
- Answering questions that students or staff have about lockdown procedures
- Conducting regular lockdown drills
Additionally, schools should be proactive and plan ahead to institute programs that support students and staff in case of a traumatic event. Having resources such as mental health professionals and counseling services readily available is critical for helping people cope after a serious incident.
During the Lockdown
During the lockdown, it is important to remain calm and follow the guidelines provided by the school and local law officials. All students and staff should:
- Remain in their classrooms, offices, or other designated spaces
- Utilize their previously implemented advanced lockdown systems
- Turn off the lights and lock all doors for added safety
- Stay quiet in order to hear instructions from administrators or law enforcement
- Stay out of sight of windows and doors
- Silence their electronic devices
- Lie flat on their stomachs or backs to stay as low to the ground as possible
- Stay in place until an all-clear message is issued by school officials
By following these guidelines, staff and students will remain as safe as possible during a lockdown.
Are Lockdown Drills Effective?
Lockdown drills are often scary for students, but consistent training will help them build confidence and follow their school’s lockdown procedures. One of the most important things schools must do is alert teachers and students before an upcoming lockdown drill. This can greatly reduce the psychological impact of experiencing such a high-intensity situation.
While research does not show that lockdown drills are effective in preventing school shootings, they do prepare students and staff for what to do in the event of an active shooter. Lockdown training and drills should be taken seriously. However, they should not go to the point that they seem realistic. Students and staff should feel safe and prepared, but it is important not to cause unnecessary stress or psychological damage.
How LockOut USA Can Help
LockOut USA is a school lockdown safety system provider with a multitude of products designed to keep students and staff members safe at school. Products like The Boot™, The SmartLight, The Ballistic Shield, Rapid Response Placards, and Color Coded Zoning System help secure the building and make room identification simple for first responders. Altogether, this is known as The SmartBoot System™.
The SmartBoot System™ can be activated from anywhere in the building and send the school into full lockdown in just seconds. It provides instant mass notifications through campus-wide visual and audio alerts.
To protect your school, schedule your free site evaluation today!