Code Red Drill Helps Teachers, Students Prepare for Emergency
What happens if an armed attacker invades one of our local schools? Students and teachers are trained to react a certain way. It's called a code red.
In April, Jennifer Burton went behind the scenes at Virginia Palmer Elementary School during a code red drill.
We won't give away any secrets, but we wanted to tell you about some of the training that goes into keeping kids safe at school.
"Code red is a word that we use as a lockdown. That's the most serious threat we have at the school district," says Tracy Moore.
Administrators and teachers immediately start locking down the school.
Teachers and students stop what they're doing and move into action as well. The goal is to keep everyone safe.
"One thing you won't see during a code red drill is kids running everywhere. That's because during a code red, teachers and students are locked inside their classrooms."
"As emergency manager, I have three critical things I'm looking for. I'm making sure the teachers are locking the door, number two, I'm making sure they're covering all the windows, and I'm making sure they're doing that accountability check.. So that we know where all the teachers are and where the kids are inside the building," says Moore.
Rooms look empty to someone who might make it through the locked door.
Every student, staff and teacher knows where to go. Each room is checked and cleared individually - that way an assailant can't lure the students out of the rooms.
Students know that only certain people can end the code red drill.
Teachers like Jennifer Noland told us the practice makes everyone feel safer. "Like anything, the more we practice it the quicker we can do it.. And time is of the essence in these situations."
School police monitor the drill, to see what goes well, and what needs to be changed.
"Could you hear the page outside? Did you hear something in the hallway? Did you find any doors unlocked? We meet as a team and everybody as a team provides their input on how they think the drill went," says Moore.
Our original December story was cleared by school police and staff. And we did share details of how kids are cleared to come out, or where they go during the drill.
School police conduct at least one of these drills at every school in Washoe County, every year.
Written by Jennifer Burton