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Jacksonville High School Reviews Lockdown Procedure
It has been just over a month since the deadly school shooting in Connecticut. Even since then, we have seen more senseless acts of violence in places most people think they are safe. A lockdown drill Tuesday at Jacksonville High School was planned before all that violence, but students and administrators could not help but go through the motions with a heightened sense of awareness.
It's like a ghost town at Jacksonville High School around 9 a.m. Tuesday. Only School Resource Officer Dave Melbourne walks the halls.
"If we would have an incident that would occur here, I would probably be the first one headed toward to take care of it," Melbourne said.
But this is just a test, so Melbourne has some help from other local police officers and school administrators.
"Checking doors, making sure things were locked, that you couldn't see in the rooms that things were dark," Melbourne said.
It is a drill JHS does every year, but with the school shooting in Connecticut fresh on everyone's minds, it is different.
"I think it was definitely something that woke us up and made everyone realize the safety of our school," JHS student Fatima Calmese said.
Safety is ensured by a policy that is updated and tailored. JHS Principal Mike McGiles said while the basics of a lockdown should be uniform throughout the state, making every policy the same is impossible.
"Every building is unique, every situation is unique, so there's going to be some differences," McGiles said.
After Tuesday's, lockdown drill, it was clear not everyone is equipped to follow procedure.
"We've got a couple [issues] with having subs in the building, how we're going to work around that, because they don't have keys to lock their doors," Melbourne said.
And not everyone is used to being skeptical.
"Making sure that everybody buys into checking if somebody is in the building they don't know, stopping and checking to make sure we can identify them," Melbourne said.
The administration will be discussing ways to improve the lockdown drill at their next meeting on Monday. They will also be handing out surveys to teachers and students within the next few days.