Tough Questions: School lockdown drills - WNEM TV 5

Tough Questions: School lockdown drills

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BRIDGEPORT, MI (WNEM) -

School lockdown drills have been on the minds of parents and teachers since the Sandy Hook tragedy in December.

Here in Michigan, schools are required to complete two drills each year.

But what about after the drill is completed? And who grades the schools' effectiveness?

The answer might surprise you.

Police and school officials invited WNEM inside of Bridgeport High School to show what they're doing to keep your students safe.

But we're also asking, are schools doing enough?

The state expects schools to have a plan and run lockdown drills.  There's really no way of knowing how successful those drills are. Not unless it's an emergency or it's too late.

As WNEM researched school lockdown drills, we discovered schools are required to report violence, truancy, vandalism.

What about reports on safety? This is not required.

Schools must verify to the state that they conduct the drills, but there's no penalty if they don't, and no one reviews these records, leaving school districts to comply in "good faith."

Bridgeport Superintendent Gloria Rubis says they do all the required drills and then some, without being asked.

Tom Mynsberge is with Critical Incident Management, a private company. Mynsberge handles emergency planning for Saginaw County schools.

On this day, he met with teachers to go over policies.

Mynsberge says the school shooting in Newtown, CT, brought school safety policies into the forefront once again.

Michigan students are supposed to run through six fire drills per year, but only two lockdown drills.

Lockdown policies vary across the country. Some states have very few requirements with no set drill number. Others, like New Jersey, require a security drill every month.

Mynsberge says it comes down to how these plans are being put into practice. And he worries that they are not preparing enough for the unthinkable.

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