Crisp County School Systems has planned lock down drill - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Cordele lock-down drill a success

Students in lock-down Students in lock-down
Superintendent Rhonda Hayes Superintendent Rhonda Hayes
City Police check security checkpoints in parking lots at all the schools City Police check security checkpoints in parking lots at all the schools
CORDELE, GA (WALB) -

All Crisp County Schools were placed on lock down today as part of a security drill.  The Crisp County Sheriff's Office and the Cordele Police Department worked together on the drill. The Crisp County School system wanted to test their revised safety procedures. Today's training scenario began with an irate parent threatening to show up at a school and cause trouble.  

  Students at Southwestern Elementary School sit quietly and listen to their teacher for instructions when they hear the words "Code Red." 11- year-old Rayla Paul says she was nervous.  

"Because I thought I was going to mess up and get in trouble," said Paul.    

But school officials don't want students to feel nervous. They say the drill is to prepare them for an actual emergency.  

"You don't know everything that might happen, but you can do your best to help children know a simulation of what might happen so that they won't be as afraid," said Superintendent Rhonda Hayes.    

Sheriff's Deputies and City police handled security checkpoints in the parking lots at all the schools. Teachers locked classrooms and turned off the lights for safety.  

"Probably the most important thing a student can do other than listen to their teacher is to be quiet because if they're talking, screaming that kind of thing they can't hear," said Hayes.

 These students separate by gender and head to a secret location.  

"You have to have an alternate location for the children to go to and it has to remain a total secret because no one can know where your going to be taking the children," said Hayes.  

 School officials walk the hallway and check door handles to make sure all classrooms are locked. They say it's also a good opportunity for students to feel comfortable around law enforcement.  

"You have to get them accustomed to seeing the officials in their gear," said Hayes.    

Chief Deputy Billy Hancock says practice makes perfect.  

"If something happens it's a natural reaction and a natural response for us to do so that we're not having to think about what we need to do, we're reacting to the situation," said Chief Deputy Hancock.    

Superintendant Hayes sent out a tweet saying the lockdown was a huge success and fifth grader Rayla Paul agrees.  

This is the first time they've done a system wide lockdown. School officials are planning an unannounced drill later this school year. The Sheriff's office participated in a similar drill with Crisp Regional Medical Center earlier this week.

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