Students and Staff Practice for a Code Red Alert - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe Sparks News, Weather, Video

Students and Staff Practice for a Code Red Alert

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Students and staff at Galena High School went into what is called a 'hard lockdown,' on Monday. Fortunately, it was just a drill, a drill to make sure everyone knows exactly what to do in the event that a real Code Red Alert happens.

This is the most serious threat a school could face. It can include anything from an active shooter, someone with a gun or knife, or anything that poses an immediate threat to the school or nearby community. 

As soon as the code red drill message went out over the loudspeakers, students and staff seemed to know exactly what to do. Classrooms were locked, the lights went off, voices were silent and nobody was allowed in or out of the rooms. Per code red instructions, the doors are not to be opened until law enforcement, or other school authority figure, gives the green light. 

Students tucked themselves into what is called a 'hard corner,' meaning they hide in the corner of the classroom that is out of direct line of sight from the door. To an outsider, the rooms look empty. 

To really put the code red training to the test, school officials went around the hallways, knocking on classroom doors--begging to be let in. But, even those familiar voices are not allowed in or out of the classroom during a lockdown. Staff passed the test--nobody was let in.  

More than 100 staff members at the school undergo training for an event like this. James Hendrickson, Washoe County School District's Emergency Manager, says that the entire district follows a nationally proven model of what is called "lockdown-lockout."

By examining recent events, techniques are always revised for the best possible method. Hendrickson explains, "We're constantly evaluating does this work? does this plan work for a particular section of the school?"

After these drills, staff meets and debriefs about what works well and what could be done better to revise plans and training to make sure these campuses are as secure as possible.  One recent, notable improvement was installing locks that staff can lock from inside the classroom. 

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