Bossier schools perform lock down drills - KSLA News 12 Shreveport, Louisiana News Weather & Sports

Bossier schools perform lock down drills

Elm Grove students take immediate shelter as the drill is announced. Elm Grove students take immediate shelter as the drill is announced.

As school children across the ArkLaTex returned to school this week, many brushed up on their safety procedures.

KSLA News 12 looks at how one Bossier school turned its policy into practice on Wednesday.

"Attention teachers: At this time we are going into lock down mode," says a voice over the Elm Grove Middle School intercom.

And in a matter of seconds, students go from chatting with friends to silence and a mad rush under their desks.

The goal is "to be really quiet and to make sure we get down so no one gets hurt," one student explains.

All Bossier schools perform a lock down drill every semester. But, in the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, this one felt a bit different.

"We're all more conscious of security. The other administrators and I have walked the school and thought, 'Hmm. Is there something else we could do'?" says Principal Terrie Johnson.

During the drill, teachers lock the doors, shut the blinds and turn out the lights while students crouch under their desk so that no one can be seen.

They also slip a sheet of paper under their door to signify whether the students are OK. A green sheet means the class is Ok. If there were danger, they would slip a red sheet under the door.

Each school also has a direct radio to the sheriff's office and police department.

"Drills are so important, so that everyone knows what their roll is should we have an emergency and students know what to do," Johnson says.

Even when they're not doing a lock down drill, any time the kids are inside the classroom, the teachers lock the door.

The only people in the halls during the drill are school resource officers, or SROs, who are usually uniformed law enforcement officers. Each middle and high school in Bossier Parish has one.

Elementary schools do not, but there has been talk about whether they should.

The Elm Grove staff hopes they never have to go into lock down for real, but they feel confident that if they do, everyone would know what to do.

The Bossier schools director of security will update the school board on the progress of Wednesday's lock down.

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