In an effort to familiarize teachers and students with the sounds of gunfire, Cary-Grove High School will conduct a lock-down drill on Wednesday where police officers plan to fire blanks in the hallway.
Cary-Grove Principal Jay Sargeant explained in a letter to parents the drill is part of a districtwide effort to increase student safety. Sargeant asked parents to discuss the drill ahead of time to ease any possible emotional reactions from hearing the sounds.
"The simulation will take approximately 15-20 minutes, during which time teachers will secure their rooms, draw curtains, and keep their students from traveling throughout the building," Sargeant said.
The school's resource officer and members of Cary Police Department will assist staff in sweeping the building, located at 2208 Three Oaks Rd. in Cary, to ensure all students are in a secure location during the drill, he said.
At the conclusion, staff and police officers will evaluate the drill, and students will return to normal classroom routine.
"These drills help our students and staff to be prepared should a crisis occur, but it may cause some students to have an emotional reaction," Sargeant said.
"In those cases, your voice may provide reassurances of the drill’s importance. Additionally, we have trained social workers on staff who can speak directly with your child should he or she need added support."
Parents with any questions can contact Sargeant, or any member of the Cary-Grove’s administrative team.
Last month, Crystal Lake South conducted a similar drill before winter break, said Jeff Puma, communications director for District 155.
"We are using the simulated gunfire to help inform our students and staff what it sounds like so that they can react more quickly should actual gunfire occur," Puma said.
"Cary-Grove is working hand-in-hand with the Cary Police Department to ensure that we prepare our students and staff should an emergency occur. We believe that any effort we can undertake to keep our students safe is time well spent."