Mass shootings have increased rapidly in the US over the past years. With this quick increase come new changes, specifically for the 2019-2020 school year. Most notable among these changes are the EoS pass system and the changes to the lockdown procedure. The changes to the lockdown procedure, however, are something HC hasn’t seen before. This change was not made by HC or Fayette County, but rather by the state of Kentucky.
“Senate Bill 1 passed,” HC Officer Sergeant Steve Wright said, “and in Senate Bill 1 there are several changes to lockdown.”
These changes include processes meant to increase safety by avoiding or preventing the intruder from entering the classroom.
“Lights must be turned off, you can barricade the door, and doors must be closed and locked when the teacher’s teaching,” Wright said, “[and] the district is going to provide a door window covering.”
Unlike previous years, teachers and students have some discretion in how to handle the situation, being allowed to take action if they deem it necessary.
“They tell you to run, hide, fight,” Wright said. “If you can get away safely, then … get away.”
However, it is important to note that staying behind a locked door is still safe, even with the new options available to students and staff.
“Going back to the Parkland shooting down in Florida,” Wright continued, “there were no kids hurt or shot inside a classroom with a locked door.”
It is important to note that these changes are meant to stall a potential shooter, not for students and staff to hide indefinitely.
“The reason for the new changes is to buy as much time as possible to get a police response here,” Wright said.
Although these changes will increase the safety of HC, they do not particularly target Fayette County schools.
“Fayette County Schools are lucky,” Wright said, “because they already have police in schools. The main reason for the changes are the rural schools.”
In addition, rural police would have a longer response time, increasing the need for delay. It is also of importance to be aware that lockdowns take precedence over other possible drills or events.
“A lockdown takes precedence over a fire drill,” Officer Marty Parks said. “If you’re in a lockdown and a fire drill goes off, you stay in lockdown.”
The first lockdown of the school year occurred on 8/22/19 and according to administration, HC handled it well. Hopefully there will be no dangerous situations in the future, but with these new procedures, HC and the rest of Kentucky will be safer in the event of a school shooting.