In the aftermath of one of the deadliest school shootings, which took place on February 14 in the community of Parkland, Florida at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, the incident raised fresh concerns and awareness about school safety and culture. This past week Coronado Unified School District (CUSD) scheduled a lockdown drill to assess its protocols and what actions would be taken to protect students and staff.
In the event of immediate danger, all CUSD campuses would lockdown immediately. Under these circumstances, the response is dependent on your whereabouts and what you can see and hear. If you can see danger and identify its location, you are encouraged to run or hide. If you are in what appears to be a safe space, you are encouraged to stay there and lockdown, concealing yourself, locking and closing doors, windows, and blinds. In the event of an active situation, law enforcement would guide our next steps and assist us with emergency response, evacuation, and reunification with families.
The drill took place on Wednesday the 21st, at roughly 10:10 a.m. during first period. As a student at Coronado High School, I was directed by my teacher to take immediate cover and to conceal myself. Several students and I took cover in the closet in the back of the room, turning off the lights and locking the door. The other students hid under their desks and gathered in corners along the room. We were all aware that this was a drill, yet it was taken very seriously among my peers. After sitting for 10 minutes with our heads down we were given the all-clear from our teacher. Promptly after the drill, we all engaged in a conversation about the shooting, school culture and how we can create a safe atmosphere on campus.
A sophomore at CHS, Shaelyn Kile, gave her account of what happened. “We were in the middle of history class reading an article when suddenly the vice principal begins talking over the intercom. We were told beforehand about the drill, but it still startled us. The rest of the students knew what to do from previous lockdown drills, and we all moved to a corner of the room and huddled together. The teacher closed the windows and turned the lights off. A classmate and I hid under the teachers’ desk as the rest were crowded next to us. This experience is very meaningful for the future just in case of a threat to our campus. I’m very thankful we have the opportunity and awareness to be a part of a very cautious community.”
Related article: Grass Roots Effort to Impact Gun Safety in Coronado Schools