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Lockdown drill at school
And security at schools in general


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#1 Mamma_mia

Posted 25 January 2013 - 12:19 PM

Hi. DS (6 yo) told me last night that they had a "lockdown drill" at vacation care yesterday. He said it was in case any threatening people came into the school and tried to hurt the kids. They were shown a safe area to hide and practiced doing it. I was a bit surprised and sad when I heard this, but then I thought it was probably a good idea. I'm assuming it has come about recently as a result of what happened in the US before Christmas. I'm wondering if DS' regular school will start doing this (his vacation care is at a different school). Has anyone else seen/heard of this happening in Australia? (We are in Canberra).

I also think schools should have better security in general. Anyone can walk into DS' primary school and wander around - I did it a while ago and there was noone around at the front entrance/in the hallways to see me. I could have been anyone! (I was supposed to be there BTW - went to the front desk to "check in", but there was noone there). I would actually like it if primary schools had a security door where you need a pin code to get in, the same as a lot of childcare centres do.

WDYT?

ETA: I was also a bit surprised that the school/vacation care didn't mention this to the parents - I only know because DS told me.

Edited by Mamma_mia, 25 January 2013 - 12:20 PM.


#2 causeway

Posted 25 January 2013 - 12:27 PM

I went to school across the road from a maximum security jail. We had a jailbreak procedure. On my 6 years there we never had a problem. Interesting to note that the jail was there before the school although the jail is closed now.

#3 Julie3Girls

Posted 25 January 2013 - 12:28 PM

It's part of the school procedures - they need to do certain drills during the year. One lockdown, and one evacuation drill - actually not sure how many of each they are required, but pretty sure they did to do both during the year.

Lockdown - teacher locks windows and doors, closes blinds if possible. Kids all on the floor under the tables.  Anyone outside of a classroom needs to go to the nearest classroom and stay there.

#4 purplekitty

Posted 25 January 2013 - 12:28 PM

My children had lockdown drills in primary school over 13  years ago now.
They didn't mention them to me until they had to do it for real when someone escaped from the local police station.

#5 FrogIsAFrogIsAFrog

Posted 25 January 2013 - 12:28 PM

Our kids do lockdown drills at school, and fire drills, in SA.

They once, dramatically, had to go into lockdown when there was a stray dog on the school grounds!

#6 gizboo

Posted 25 January 2013 - 12:28 PM

They do this at our childrens' school, and their daycare centre.
Both fire drills & lockdowns. original.gif

#7 warriorsfan

Posted 25 January 2013 - 12:29 PM

Not at all uncommon, my daughter is in year 9 and has been doing them since year one. There are a few drills a year, as well as fire drills, and there have been a few real lock downs too. The drills have been an important part of keeping the kids calm when there has been an actual lock down. Some schools send letters home some don't.

#8 lovealpacas

Posted 25 January 2013 - 12:30 PM

I taught at at a primary school in the early 2000's, we had both a fire/evacuation procedure and a lockdown procedure, so it's not new.

Edited by lovealpacas, 25 January 2013 - 12:32 PM.


#9 RobotFerretOfDoom

Posted 25 January 2013 - 12:31 PM

I don't think it's a particularly new thing. I know that our childcare centre alternates between lock down drills and fire drills, and has for as long as we've been there.

I wouldn't expect them to inform parents, just as I wouldn't expect to be informed of a fire drill.

I don't think a pin type system would be practical for primary schools due to the sheer scale involved, plus the general layout of schools with a number of buildings scattered over a large area with a fair bit of open space.

Edited by WootFerretOfDoom, 25 January 2013 - 12:31 PM.


#10 julz78

Posted 25 January 2013 - 12:31 PM

Lockdowns are fairly common in my experience, my kids school has had probably a dozen or so. It doesn't necessarily mean they are for crazed gunmen on the rampage but everyday scenarios like a stranger roaming the school, or disgruntled parent, teenagers strolling past throwing rocks at classroom or a student having a violent outburst throwing chairs and the like.

#11 Mamma_mia

Posted 25 January 2013 - 12:32 PM

Oh ok, so it's not a recent thing. Interesting. I just remember after that terrible thing happened in America, it was reported that the kids followed their lockdown procedures, and someone commented "how sad that kids in America have to have such procedures". So I thought it wasn't done here. Realistically it could happen anywhere, so it's good that they do it.

#12 emishka

Posted 25 January 2013 - 12:32 PM

my daughters school has had drills and has been in lockdown mode ( once that I know of)..   (another canberra person)
Anyone can wonder into the school though which sometimes worries me.. My daughter and her friends once told me about a man who came onto the school grounds and punched a teacher after trying to talk to the girls.. I just warned her about stranger danger, but i was a bit upset that there was no note from the school about it...


#13 Jax12

Posted 25 January 2013 - 12:32 PM

I think it's a worthwhile drill to run, for both staff and students.  

I don't really agree with pin coded doors for primary schools.  I know that there are unfortunately crazy people out there but I would think locking students in and out of their school grounds is more likely to trap them in in case of fire or other emergency, plus cause all kinds of day to day problems.  

It's a sad world that we can't trust people, to you know, NOT go on killing sprees...

As for not mentioning it, I don't think it's a huge deal.  I wouldn't worry that I wasn't informed of a fire drill and I think it's just that the term 'lock down' has much more sinister connotations that it might make some people uneasy.

My family daycare lady runs fire drills with the 3-4 children she cares for regularly.  I think it's adorable (and of course good practise)

#14 Zephie Chugger

Posted 25 January 2013 - 12:34 PM

I think its a great idea, like fire drills.

Its sad but part of life and growing up now putting security door at schools I don't believe would not work just the cost would blow the budget, trying to fence in 500 kids would be more like a jail and if someone what's to get in they would anyway.

#15 PrincessPeach

Posted 25 January 2013 - 12:36 PM

Never had lockdown drills, however I do recall being in primary school & being in lockdown due to a couple of escaped prisoners running through the bushland behind our school.

We also had a bomb threat one day when i was in high school & it was treated the same as a fire drill - all students out to the oval - except our teachers let us take our bags with us.

#16 Julie3Girls

Posted 25 January 2013 - 12:37 PM

QUOTE
I would actually like it if primary schools had a security door where you need a pin code to get in, the same as a lot of childcare centres do.

Not practical. Too many kids and parents. Particularly at drop off and pickup.  
Schools are so much bigger in area - it's fine to have a pin to get into a daycare, where it's one building. But schools have all that playground area, classes and buildings all spread out. Lots and lots of fenceline ... anyone who really wanted to get into the school could probably avoid the sign in by going over a fence somewhere. It would just cause delays and hassles for people doing the right thing.

#17 Mamma_mia

Posted 25 January 2013 - 12:42 PM

At DS' school, the front entrance is very visible to/accessible from the main road. So a security door for that would be good. Probably not so necessary for the other entrances around the back of the building. It's just one building (small school). But then if someone really wanted to get in, I guess they might go around the back. I had thought about suggesting it to the school, but perhaps I won't now - they might think I'm completely loopy! blush.gif


ETA: I don't need to be notified when the actual drill is happening, I just didn't know there was such a thing, and wondered if the schools let the parents know that there is.

Edited by Mamma_mia, 25 January 2013 - 12:44 PM.


#18 MrsLexiK

Posted 25 January 2013 - 12:42 PM

I had lock down drills at school from at least grade 5 (so what 15 years ago) long before the US primary school shooting.  We actually had a bomb threat at one stage which affected 3 schools right at 3.25pm - it was hectic and no one was allowed to leave where they were.  Turned out to be a total hoax.

#19 Old Grey Mare

Posted 25 January 2013 - 12:44 PM

QUOTE (Mamma_mia @ 25/01/2013, 01:19 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Hi. DS (6 yo) told me last night that they had a "lockdown drill" at vacation care yesterday. He said it was in case any threatening people came into the school and tried to hurt the kids. They were shown a safe area to hide and practiced doing it. I was a bit surprised and sad when I heard this, but then I thought it was probably a good idea. I'm assuming it has come about recently as a result of what happened in the US before Christmas. I'm wondering if DS' regular school will start doing this (his vacation care is at a different school). Has anyone else seen/heard of this happening in Australia? (We are in Canberra).

I also think schools should have better security in general. Anyone can walk into DS' primary school and wander around - I did it a while ago and there was noone around at the front entrance/in the hallways to see me. I could have been anyone! (I was supposed to be there BTW - went to the front desk to "check in", but there was noone there). I would actually like it if primary schools had a security door where you need a pin code to get in, the same as a lot of childcare centres do.

WDYT?

ETA: I was also a bit surprised that the school/vacation care didn't mention this to the parents - I only know because DS told me.


...and metal detectors, and armed guards.......great idea - lets allow the fear factor to overtake our lives as it has in the US.

#20 librablonde

Posted 25 January 2013 - 12:49 PM

Our little rural primary school has been doing Lockdown drills, I was stunned when DD told me. I guess it's a good idea but I find the whole idea that it's necessary just so sad.
Old Grey Mare- I agree with you.

#21 cinnabubble

Posted 25 January 2013 - 12:53 PM

Our school has lockdown drills. The kids just accept them as part of school life. I secretly wish they'd use them to stop some of the more clingon FYOS mothers being in the classroom all the freaking time.

#22 Mumsyto2

Posted 25 January 2013 - 12:55 PM

Our public primary school has had lockdown drills since my eldest started 5 years ago (not sure if they had them before this - probably) now.  I think it's sad they are needed but also a great idea.

They have had one actual lockdown at the school, can't remember what it was for but it was something ridiculous you would not bat an eye at - I just took it that they were using anything as an excuse to put the drill into practice.

The funny thing was that there was actually a situation where a lockdown WAS required but this occured about 5 mins after school had finished so there were kids EVERYWHERE and people (teachers) were wanting to lock school gates but there was half the school in, half out with terrified kids out in the street not knowing which way to go or where the trouble actually was so in this scenario it was all just useless - luckily two whole police riot squads arrived within 10 mins with more police following and the actual cause of the issue was taken care of but if the person involved had of had automatic weapons and used them it would have been a real disaster. You realise that such a tragedy could so easily occur anywhere.

Edited by Mumsyto2, 25 January 2013 - 12:55 PM.


#23 Brattacino

Posted 25 January 2013 - 01:02 PM

Nothing new.  My kids have had them at two different schools.  At their current school they have two types; code orange and code red (this from my son- clearly they are well educated).  For code orange, they just go into/stay in classrooms and pull down the blinds and continue their work quietly.  For code red, they have to lie on the floor and be very, very queit.  I think it actually is a positive thing as my children are both the anxious type so the fact they can talk and respond rationally means that should anything untoward happen they will follow directions- no questioned asked and not be paralysed by fear (although they tell me that it is still quite scary).

QUOTE
...and metal detectors, and armed guards.......great idea - lets allow the fear factor to overtake our lives as it has in the US.


Not quite the same as getting metal detectors and armed guards like at US high schools- comparing is a bit of an overexaggeration.  Unfortunately this has become necessary at some schools as kids carry weapons to school (guns, knives) and some schools have a gang element both inside and outside the school.  The culture and gun laws in the US have unfortunately made the situation much worse.  Australia is nowhere in the same homicide league as the US (i.e. current gun debate in US)

#24 Chelli

Posted 25 January 2013 - 01:05 PM

The first I'd heard of lockdown drills is when my eldest DD started high school. They haven't been done at our local primary school.

#25 emlis22

Posted 25 January 2013 - 01:11 PM

I did them at primary school in the mid/late 90s. So definitely not new.




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