Laurel safety board holds roundtable discussion, plans active shooter drill

By: 
GARRETT HARR
Outlook staff writer

School and city officials held a roundtable meeting this month to discuss the safety procedures and protocol the school faculty, students, fire department and police department will go through in case of an emergency. The panel consisted of, Allison Nys, Linda Filpula, Jason Shovar, Officer Kyle Bryant, and Officer Fred Gregory.
The purpose of the roundtable is for the school and city to be best prepared to handle any and all scenarios. The continued education and safety drills are not only for the students, but also for the staff. Everyone wants to be able to adapt to make changes to ensure the incident is handled in the best possible care each time.
The schools work closely with the police department and fire department to determine the proper procedures to take place in case of an incident. The faculty and city are constantly working together to make sure the students are as prepared and safe as they can be for any unforeseen incident.
On Wednesday, April 26, the Laurel High School will practice a “what if” active shooter drill to give the students and faculty practice on safety and evacuation techniques. This will only be a drill and all parents need to be aware that the school will be in a practice lockdown during that day. Some of the elementary schools will follow with a practice lockdown of their own afterwards.
Each school and each teacher already has in place very specific safety protocol for any and all of the many situations that could occur and the school safety board continuously adjusts and makes changes every month.
What parents can do to help are try to keep school street zones and bus zones as clear, quick and efficiently as possible, in case of an emergency so emergency vehicles have a clear path and so students have a safe path out of the school, as many kids do not always look both ways before crossing the street.
During an emergency the school and police and fire do not have time to answer phones. Their time is spent taking care of the situation during the emergency. In the case of an emergency parents should not be discouraged if they can not get through to the school, police, or fire department. There is a system in place to send out emergency notices as soon as possible. And there are designated safe zones as well for parents to go to. The faculty, police and fire departments main jobs are to ensure the safety of the children and therefore may not be available at a time of emergency.   
Parents should also try to stay away from the scene if there is an emergency so the proper channels can be unimpeded.
The schools and city departments plan for the worst and are constantly changing and adapting to modern society to ensure the drills are second nature for both children and adults.

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