At Cary-Grove High School in Illinois, students and staff are participating in a "code red" drill on Wednesday.
"It will include somebody shooting blanks from a gun in the hallway “in an effort to provide our teachers and students some familiarity with the sound of gunfire.”'
School spokesman Jeff Puma said that only a small number of parents have contacted the school regarding the drill (Possibly because, according to one parent, not everyone has received the school notification about the drill.) and it's an even split for and against the drill.
"Substitute teacher Debbie Gummerson said, “Let’s put the kids through some training, and maybe we could save some lives that way, should something ever happen.”'
Parent Sharon Miller called the planned drill "absurd," and thinks shooting blanks in the hallway is unnecessary.
“If you need to run a drill, you run a drill,” she told WBBM Newsradio’s Bernie Tafoya. “They run fire drills all the time, but they don’t run up and down the hallway with a flamethrower.”
Full text of the letter sent to (some?) parents explaining the "code red" drill after the jump.
At Cary-Grove and across District 155, we make your child’s safety our number one priority each day. As a parent, I can assure you that we understand our responsibility to return your child safely at the end of each day. While we take many preventative steps to keep our building secure, we also practice our response should a crisis arise. Some examples include meetings with first responders, a comprehensive crisis response plan, and simulations. We are planning a code red simulation on Wednesday, January 30. We feel it is important to explain the simulation to you in advance so that you and your child might be able to better understand what will take place on Wednesday.
The simulation will take approximately 15-20 minutes, during which time teachers will secure their rooms, draw curtains, and keep their students from traveling throughout the building. Please note that we will be firing blanks in the hallway in an effort to provide our teachers and students some familiarity with the sound of gunfire. Our school resource officer and other members of the Cary Police Department will assist us in sweeping the building to ensure that all students are in a secure location during the drill. At the conclusion of the drill, we will take some time to process what occurred and then we will return to our normal classroom routine.
I encourage you to discuss the drill with your student both before it happens and after. These drills help our students and staff to be prepared should a crisis occur, but it may cause some students to have an emotional reaction. In those cases, your voice may provide reassurances of the drill’s importance. Additionally, we have trained social workers on staff who can speak directly with your child should he or she need added support.
Should you have any questions, please contact me or any member of the Cary-Grove’s administrative team. Together, we can keep our school a safe place for your child to learn and grow.