When I picked up my son yesterday from elementary school I learned that the school had been under a lockdown. The police were pursuing a suspect in the neighborhood close to the school. I believe it was a custody dispute. There was a possibility that he was armed.
The school followed protocol and everything worked liked clockwork. When the suspect was near the school grounds, the police contacted the school immediately. The teachers locked their doors and windows and closed their blinds. Lessons resumed. According to my son, a first grader, there was no discussion as the why the teacher needed to lock the door and the windows and close the blinds. Everything carried on as normal. They continued with an art project.
Meanwhile, the second grade glass was given more information. Their teacher told her students it was as if there was hunter in the woods outside. I heard from another parent that the teachers told the fourth graders the whole story. One of the students cried and was pretty distraught. One parent tried to pick up her child and was greeted with a sign behind the glass of the office window that read, “We are in LockDown.”
The police apprehended the suspect within thirty minutes and he never entered the school grounds. The principal concluded the whole situation by calling the parents with a school-wide message. Everyone had done their job and the police contained the situation.
This is not the only time this school has been faced with such a situation as there is a prison in the area. It’s happened before where an inmate has escaped and been hiding in the nearby wetlands. When you hear and see a helicopter circling, an escapee is a possibility. It probably will not be the last time. I’m so thankful nothing happened and that we have procedures in place to ensure everyone’s safety.
Still, it was unsettling. It was a certainly a reminder to me that life is precious and is always hanging in the balance, possibly hinging on something that is totally out of your control.