Being prepared can saves lives

Staff Writer
Washington Times-Reporter

Washington is not an island within Tazewell County.

It is not exempt from troubles that face other communities.

The police and fire departments know this.

The high school administration knows this.

Tragedy can strike any time, anywhere.

Remember, violence in schools does not always happen in the “big city.” It happens in small communities, too.

In fact, when violence hits a small community, it becomes an even bigger story because we all expect the violence in the larger cities.

With this in mind, the Washington Police Department, Washington Fire Department and Washington Community High School are currently working out a shooter scenario at the high school in May, after graduation.

The seniors will not be a part of the crisis drill because, as dean of students Todd Hellrigel said, this is their last year.

The other students, however, will be a part of the drill.

Some in the community may think the administration is borrowing trouble. But, as we see time and time again, no one can predict when a student may decide he is hurt or angry enough to lash out at fellow students and teachers.

We would all like to think it cannot happen here, but that is foolish.

The upcoming drill will be a full-blown “code red” situation. A code red at school means the school goes in a full lockdown. No one in or out until the building is secured by emergency personnel.

Our children go through tornado and fire drills. This is really no different.

It is a means of preparing our students for a worse-case scenario, while also allowing staff, police and rescue personnel to also prepare.

Being prepared is a good thing.