Do you know what you can or should do if your child’s school goes into a lockdown situation? Lockdowns can happen for a number of reasons, and knowing what to do can not only help authorities keep your child safe but also get you reunited with your child in the quickest possible manner.
Why Do Schools Go on Lockdown?
A school can go into lockdown mode for a number of different reasons. Lockdowns can happen if gunfire is reported in a nearby neighborhood, a bomb threat occurs, or even if a note found in the school suggests there may be an immediate danger.
Schools as well as first responders practice lockdowns and follow specific procedures to ensure everything goes smoothly. They know what to do–and parents should too.
What Parents Should Do
When a school goes into lockdown, there may be different types of lockdown procedures depending on the threat. For instance, if a bomb threat has been called in, they may get all of the children outside. If a shooting happens in a nearby neighborhood, they’ll bring the children inside and lock all of the doors and windows. Sometimes the children will be taken away by bus to a holding area.
Although this is a very scary situation for both parents and students, showing up at the school will only add chaos and take away from resources that are there to keep your children safe. The same goes for calling the school. They likely won’t answer. Tying up their phone lines is not helpful for anyone.
What you can do is check your email and the school’s website for information on the lockdown. Almost all schools have the ability to communicate happenings on their website and will do so in the event of a lockdown. Many schools also offer you the option to sign up for text alerts. If you are not signed up, you should be.
This gives the schools a way to communicate with all parents at one time, giving them more time to focus on keeping your children safe. Trust that your school officials, local police officers, and fire departments know what to do. They train for these types of situations, and the best thing you can do is let them do their jobs.
You will be notified once the lockdown is cleared or if you need to pick up your child. The hardest thing to do is practice patience when your children might be in danger, but it’s the best way you can help.
It’s also important that you follow school policies and safety precautions all throughout the school year. Simply entering through the wrong door could cause a school to go into lockdown. Having an unknown adult wandering around the school is a reason for alarm, so follow the rules.