Salem-Keizer Assures Completion of School Safety Drills
SALEM, Ore. (KOIN 6) — Salem-Keizer School District officials said standards for school safety drills will be met this school year.
In June, the Statesman Journal reported that the district was not conducting at least two lockdown drills required by a bill that Oregon lawmakers passed last year.
The Douglas McKay High School was one of eight high schools in the district that did not comply with state law. The school’s principal, Sara LeRoy, said that will not be the case this year.
”We are preparing our staff through training. We will be running our drills in a timely fashion, and we will at least do our minimum of the two that are required to make sure we are prepared for the worst case scenario,” she said.
School district leaders also said they have a new system in place to make sure every school is in compliance.
“We let the parents know what’s going on. Let them know it’s not our intent to traumatize the kids or scare them,” said Salem-Keizer School District’s Community Relations and Communications Director Jay Remy.
According to Remy, the district plans to conduct their first lockdown drill within the first two weeks of school. Part of the drill will be practicing a shelter place procedure, meaning students will move to the safest location in their classrooms.
“So that as soon as the school does it, they just go online, check a box – we done it. It comes here to the district office so we know. Then we can look up reports and see who’s done it and who hasn’t done it,” said Remy.
In the event of an actual lockdown situation, district leaders said each school has its own off campus location where parents would be able to reunite with their children.
According to Save the Children’s 2014 Disaster Report Card, Oregon is one of 21 states that does not meet disaster safety standards for schools. The report says the state doesn’t have a set plan for all possible disasters and situation, including how to reunite children with their families or how to help special needs children.
Washington, however, does meet all standards, according to the report.