We all used to do regular fire drills when we went to school. Today we do a lot more to keep our students safe. even in Big Valley. You never know, crazies shoot up schools, planes crash, there are explosions and toxic chemical releases. Now Big Valley has a plan in place to respond to these emergencies.
Wednesday at noon, a co-operative effort between the Big Valley School District and Lassen County Sheriff's Office took place. A simulated lockdown exercise followed by a school evacuation was practiced.A lockdown situation is a response to active or possible gunfire such as in several well known school shootings which have made the headlines in the past years.It can also be a response to pursuit of an armed criminal or similar event.Evacuations may take place in the case of a fire or close by chemical spill or airplane crash. Big Valley Schools now have a plan in place to deal with such situations and this was practiced with student, teacher and law enforcement involved.
Schools developed plans and procedures for these possibilities. Teachers and staff were made familiar with the plans. Emergency kits consisting of maps, radios, flashlights, pictures of staff and students etc. were created and placed at each school and the central office.
Deputies Randy Sheffler and Scott Withrow, our North County
regulars, and Superintendent Richard Rhodes started the drill at 12:30
PM. The drill started with lockdown practice.
The classrooms were notified of the drill and teachers locked classroom doors, both from the inside and outside, pulled blinds over all windows, turned out the lights and advised all the students to remain silent. During this time, deputies walked around the school both checking if the doors were locked and becoming familiar with the school layout.
After an 'all clear notice" the next stage of the drill started, the
evacuation of the schools. In case of a violent event such as a school
shooting, or a disaster, plans call for a school evacuation. Any major
event will create confusion and frantic parents, so plans call for
everyone to go to one central location. Students will be controlled so
everyone can be accounted for and kept isolated if necessary and
frantic parents will have a single place to go for information and
re-union with their children. The location for this drill was the
Memorial Hall but other locations may be chosen depending on