Locks are seen missing on a door to a Kindlon study room. Photo Credits: Shamael Khan
Students were told to stay in their classrooms, lock the doors, turn off the lights and wait for further instructions during last Tuesday’s shelter in place drill. During the drill, however, those who chose the library study rooms as their shelter found that the locks had been removed, leaving them exposed to the mock shooter.
“When the drill started, I was in the study room in Kindlon second floor. As a part of the drill, we are supposed to hide under tables and lock the door. Since there was no lock, I was confused on what to do,” stated Zainab Ahmed, a Biology student. “Because our doors weren’t locked, it made us think of other ways to keep ourselves safe since we usually just hide under tables and our professor locks the door.”
The purpose of these drills is to facilitate an appropriate response from staff and students so that everyone is aware of their options. Run, hide and then fight as a last resort is the motto Benedictine follows and that everyone should be aware of.
“I was outside and didn’t realize the drill was happening at first,” stated Wasey Abdul, a Junior at BenU. “I thought I would know what to do if I were in a situation like this, but I froze and not knowing that it was a drill, freaked me out for a second.”
There were many staff members around to help direct students to a safe place. However, once in a room, it was clear to some students that some faculty/ staff were slow to/ didn’t understand how to lock their doors.
Following the drill, students and staff received a follow-up email from Michi Dubes, Emergency Preparedness Manager, who reiterated the procedures on locking doors. The email shows an example of what the locks look like and explains how to lock them.
The email did not acknowledge the missing locks in the library, however, it did discuss the connecting doors located in many Birk and Kindlon classrooms. Should this have been an actual shelter in place incident, it was advised that those doors be blocked with desks and chairs.
“Overall, the drill went well despite the technical glitches we encountered. For this reason, is why we do these drills and tests so when the day comes we are ready to handle any situation,” stated Dubes in the email.
April 20th marks the nineteenth anniversary of the Columbine High School shooting that occurred in Colorado back in 1999. Since then, former Principal Frank DeAngelis has made it his life’s mission to bring awareness to such incidents.
“No one ever believed it would happen at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado. But hopefully people across the nation, across the state, will realize that it can happen in their school,” stated DeAngelis in an interview with ABC news just days after the 1999 shooting.
The Candor was unable to attain more recent and relevant quotes from the Emergency Response Team due to scheduled meeting issues.