On school lockdown procedures: An editorial explanation


Weekly Word: Each week, the Lasso Editorial Board will comment on an issue that is relevant to the students of George Mason High School. We strive to present a student-oriented opinion about topics big and small that matter to the student body.

Editorial Board

Recently, The Lasso published a student opinion regarding student procedures during a school lockdown drill. While this is the opinion of one student, we want to make public the official school policy in the student handbook regarding lockdown drills. It reads as follows:

During lock-downs, bad weather drills, or shelter in place exercises, students must remain in designated areas and closely follow all directions by staff.  Student and staff safety rely on following directions carefully.

The Crisis Management Plan flip-book, which every teacher has a copy of, lists specific instructions for a lockdown. These step-by-step instructions direct teachers to keep track of all students, maintain order, and remain in the locked classroom.

The Crisis Management Plan flip chart. (Photo by Laura Whitaker)

FCCPS also follows the Virginia state code requiring that every public school have a lock-down drill “at least twice during the first 20 school days of each school session… (and) at least two additional lock-down drills during the remainder of the school session.”