Claremore Police performs school safety, security exercise
Mark Friedel Staff Reporter
The Claremore Police Department performed a security lockdown drill Tuesday morning at Claremore High School.
Officers conducted the exercise with school administrators who were spread throughout each wing of the building, insuring students and teachers were in their classrooms and doors were locked.
Claremore Police Chief Stan Brown said a school lockdown is issued when there is a known threat near school grounds.
Different scenarios can cause lockdowns, including student threats, angry parents, escaped convicts and active shooters, etc.
In a lockdown, teachers are able to conduct class as normal, however, they must remain in the classrooms with the doors locked. All entrances to the building are also locked and inspected by administrators and police officers who are spread out within the interior of the building.
“During a lockdown, business is conducted as usual in the classroom. If the school has to go into ‘intruder mode’, students and teachers are to quietly hunker down in their classrooms with the lights off and the doors locked,” said CHS Assistant Principal Brian Key.
Key said teachers were notified of the drill last week and advised on what to do.
“Our staff does a wonderful job of getting students to where they need to be,” said Principal Todd Steidley. “We’ve been doing this drill now for several years and everyone at the high school, and throughout the district takes it very seriously.”
He said the state department of education has school districts conduct a fire, tornado or safety and security drill each month for practice.
“In the case of any emergency scenario, everyone on school grounds is notified through the school’s speaker system,” said Steidley. “Codes are no longer used. If there’s an intruder we will announce over the PA system that an intruder has entered the building.”
Police officers and school staff were pleased with the amount of time it took to secure the school during the lockdown procedure on Tuesday.
Brown said it took just under two minutes from the time the lockdown was announced to the time all school doors were locked with teachers and students in their classrooms.