Lincoln High School Statesman

‘Locking down’ on school threats

Sophia Boyt, Staff Writer

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     Fear and suspicion have plagued the U.S. in recent times. Citizens live in constant fear of an attack from not just foreign hostilities, but also those who live among us. However, the threats that are broadcast all over the media may be as dangerous as one expects.

     In the past year, there have been 297 total mass shootings in the U.S. 301 days have passed since the year started, meaning that, on average, a shooting has occurred nearly once every day. Most of these incidents occur in large, public areas with a high number of people out and about. One of the major targets for shooters are schools, where hundreds of students conveniently congregate in the same place everyday. Yet, LHS resource officers Jason Larsen and Bob Draeger assure that the policies in place and other safety measures are enough to ensure that dangerous threats will be taken care of quickly.

     “What we are definitely seeing a lot more of are the internet threats,” said Draeger, “‘There’s going to be a shooting’, we’re seeing a lot of that, and we’re constantly [addressing] it.”

     According to the Argus Leader, on Tuesday, earlier this week, a reddit user under the screen name ‘SchoolBsho’ sent online threats through social media targeting students at RHS. After the incident was addressed, several parents pulled their students from the school, not trusting in the school’s ability to protect their son or daughter. However, when the threat was identified, police responded immediately, assuring and enforcing the safety of students at the high school. Many students and parents alike are still unsure of the effectiveness of school lockdown and evacuation policies. Larsen and Draeger work tirelessly to improve safety policies.

     “We train several times a year, usually on holiday breaks, when the [students] are gone,” said Larsen. “We need to practice from our end, but we also need to practice from…the school’s end.”

     The main practice for school shooters and other violent threats is to lockdown students in classrooms. The majority of lockdown drills occur while students are sitting in Ad-Room, but in a more realistic scenario, students could be passing through the halls, in lunch or even wandering the school before it starts. It is important to keep this in mind when preparing for a lockdown drill. Thankfully, LHS has policies that aim to prepare students for all situations.

     “Locking down in a classroom is currently probably your best option. We’ve been seeing people pulling fire alarms to get students out of the building, out in the open,” said Draeger “However we do try to encourage people to think smart.”

     If you hear a lockdown announcement or an alarm, quickly find your way into the nearest classroom that can be locked. The most important precaution to remember is to be safe and be smart. Do not intentionally put yourself or others in danger, and do not panic. It is not likely that many students at LHS will ever have to face the dangers of a mass shooting, but it is always a possible scenario that needs to be thought through either way.

     “You hear a lot of people [say] ‘run’…This day and age, that may not be the best idea, especially if you can lockdown in the classroom. Within a couple minutes, there’s gonna be numerous police officers in this building, in anywhere in Sioux Falls,” said Draeger. “And vaping is bad.”

Author
Sophia Boyt, Staff Writer

Sophia Boyt is a sophomore and a newer introduction to the Statesman. She enjoys writing and participates in LHS's volleyball team and debate club. In...

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