ALBANY, GA (WALB) - A large scale active shooter drill took place at Monroe High School Friday morning.
School staff and students, along Dougherty County School System staff and area law enforcement, took part in the drill.
Overall, staff said, the Friday drill was a success.
Staff said while there were some issues to learn from Friday’s simulated shooting, communication between so many different parties was key.
“You know we want to use this as events that could prepare us," Vinson Davis, Monroe High principal, said. "If there was an actual fire or tornado or an active shooter, so the situation this morning, it was very heart wrenching. It felt very realistic for us”
Staff said the first responders spoke calmly and were ready to comfort any of the kids.
While this was a drill, school staff pointed out, it was treated as if a shooter was actually in the school — which could be just as traumatizing to the kids.
Staff said drills like this one are the only way they’ll know exactly what they need to do to keep kids safe.
Staff told WALB following the drill that they know what to work on in the future.
Some issues that arose was alerting other schools in the area that they needed to be lockdown as well.
First responders, school staff and students also took part in a briefing of Friday’s event, and discussed ways to improve the plan for other DCSS schools and drills.
WALB spoke with students at the drill and they said even though the knew they were safe, the sights and sounds were scary.
About 750 students were evacuated out of Monroe High Friday — all of them taken to a safe, off-site location.
Some Monroe students were a part of the Friday drill, acting as injured gunshot wound victims.
Quinlan Diago said even though he knew what was going on with the drill, the sound of actual gun shots scared him.
“When I first heard the gun shots, I was very unprepared and so I went out in the hall and just to actually see the gunman walking around really gave me an eye-opening experience to kinda take these things a little more serious and so it was scary at times with the gun shots going off not knowing when they were going to go off but it was very eye opening,” Diago said.
School administrators and law enforcement said they will have an update next week, explaining in depth what went right and what they feel went wrong on Friday’s drill.