Upper school community practices lockdown drill


Lucy Ge

Elvis Han (12) adds a chair to the barricade of Upper School Science Department Chair Anita Chetty’s period 6 Honors Human Anatomy and Physiology class on Monday. Upper school students and staff participated in a “Run, Hide and Defend” drill to practice emergency response protocol from 10:20 to 10:50 a.m. on Monday.

by Isha Moorjani, News Editor

Additional reporting by Kinnera Mulam. 

Upper school students and staff participated in a “Run, Hide and Defend” drill to practice emergency response protocol during sixth period on Monday from 10:20 to 10:50 a.m.

The Run, Hide and Defend drill protocol takes place in the case of an intruder or active shooter on campus. In the lockdown drill, students and teachers constructed barricades in their classrooms, and staff, administrators and faculty members knocked from door to door to confirm that classes covered windows, made no noise, barricaded doors and created an interior barricade using tables, chairs and other available classroom materials. Science classrooms had plywood cutouts to place against the door due to the fixed tables. 

“I think it’s important to practice these drills because we need to prepare for the worst-case scenarios and make sure that we all remain safe,” said Sania Gupta (10), who locked down in upper school English teacher Beverley Manning’s classroom.

Upper School Dean of Students Kevin Williamson recorded a video detailing the process of the lockdown drill that students watched at the school meeting on Monday. 

If inside, students must stay indoors, lockdown and follow instructions from their teacher. If outside, students must run away from the danger, exit campus and call the police. Williamson also advised students to stay away from uncovered windows and to prepare themselves with classroom items to use for defense. Classes should also turn off lights unless one locks down in an office or closet with no window. 

In a real lockdown situation, police would come to each classroom and advise those inside either to remain in place or to evacuate. The police would conduct a pat-down and eventually, students can check out with their parents from a safe area. Williamson also announced in the video that the school will always notify the upper school community of a drill before it happens. He also encouraged students to speak up and notify an adult or the police if they learn of a potential threat.

A barricade consisting of a plywood cutout, a table and chairs stand against a door in upper school chemistry teacher Dr. Mala Raghavan’s classroom. Science classrooms have plywood cutouts to use in a lockdown situation because the tables are usually fixed to the floor. (Isha Moorjani)