It’s a drill but it could be a lifesaver
TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - It's a sad sign of the times that schools feel they have to prepare for gunmen determined to shoot down their students.
"Lock hard down. Go to lock hard down. Do it now."
At TUSD's Project More High School, Principal Israel Macias-Reyes gives what could be a life-saving order over the schools public address system.
This is a simulation, but real events power the district's requirement for drills like this at least twice a year.
The Principal and school safety check to see if everyone lived up to the life saving rule. Lock up instantly. Open for no one no matter who they say they are.
TUSD School Safety officer Sam Martin peeks into a window and shouts: “Anybody in there? Open up! Open up! Anybody there? School safety. TUSD school safety. I need you to open up.
Principal Israel Macias-Reyes also tests whether teachers and students will obey the standing order to stay locked in: "We need help. We need help. Open up!”
After two minutes and 47 seconds the principal can safely say: "Alright we got a secure campus. Alright.”
Safety officer Sam Martin says, “Good job. They did fantastic."
In Northern California this week a gunman killed four people and wounded several students but an effective school lockdown turned him away before he could shoot many more.
Project More Principal Israel Macias-Reyes says even in a drill he wants to feel some of the stress of a real emergency.
"You get a little bit of an adrenaline rush going, a little bit of how we gonna do it because you do want to make it as real as possible so you can prepare your campus."
School Security officer Sam Martin says in TUSD if anyone on staff sees an imminent threat they declare a hard lockdown and the lockdown is on. No one wastes precious seconds asking why.
"We're not going to second-guess it. Principals they hear it, they know. They might not even be in the office. If they hear hard lockdown everybody has to act. Immediately."