Odessa Elementary Prepares for an Intruder Drill 1/7/13
CBS 7 News
January 7, 2013
Odessa, TX - Its a situation that educators at Blanton Elementary say is very surreal: teaching their students, some as young as five years old, how to hide from a gunman.
“I think it's driven now because of what happened nationwide,” Teacher David Wardlaw said.
The faculty and staff say they needed an intruder drill that catered specifically to their school after watching the events that unfolded during the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre in New Town, Connecticut.
“There’s a plan of action in case something horrible was to happen,” said first grade teacher Leesa Harrington. She remembers that day and says she put herself in those teachers' shoes.
“In the event something did happen we would do the same thing those teachers did,” she said, “We would do whatever it takes to protect those kids in our classroom.”
“We are too lax at an elementary they are little kids,” Wardlaw said, “But we can't be that way anymore we have to secure the area.”
Everyone from custodians to teachers came together to brainstorm from communication tactics to lock down procedures.
They walked the halls and checked each room to decide the best place to keep the students safe.
“Right now parents don't know what to do,” Wardlaw said, “We don't know what to do that's why we are here.”
The faculty also discussed reinforcing rules for the visitors like checking in the office, getting a drivers license, and showing a tag.
“It’s not a neighborhood school anymore,” Principal Linda Voss said, “We've got families coming in from all over the United States and our population has grown and we don't recognize every face that comes into our office.”
Principal Voss says the meeting was a success next she will create a revised drill plan hoping for the best and preparing for the worst.
She says the school with send a letter home with the students explaining the drill before it happens. She encourages all parents to talk to their children about intruder drills to make them feel secure, not scared.