Ticonderoga Ticonderoga Elementary-Middle School will be locked down as part of a safety drill Oct. 17.
Students, faculty and staff will implement a new plan designed to protect them in the event of an emergency at the building.
“It’s basically the opposite of a fire drill,” John Donohue, principal, said of the drill. “In a fire drill you get everyone out of the building as quickly as possible. In a lock down we move everyone to a secure location inside as quickly as possible.”
The drill will be the first time the Ticonderoga school district’s new safety program will be tested. The plan was developed, with help from local police and others, following last year’s Sandy Hook school shootings in Connecticut.
Ticonderoga police and other law enforcement agencies will take part in the Oct. 17 lock down drill.
“We have been working with the school district on updating their emergency action plans,” Ticonderoga Police Chief Mark Johns said. “We have also met with the local (North Country) community college and parochial school (St. Mary’s). It is very important for law enforcement officers to know and understand the steps these facilities will take in the event of an emergency. This knowledge allows the law enforcement officers who may need to respond to an incident to handle that emergency situation quicker and more efficiently.
“The primary reason for having representatives from the Ticonderoga Police Department and other law enforcement agencies present during the drill on the 17th is to enhance our own officer training,” Johns said. “Our presence also gives law enforcement professionals an opportunity to see the school’s plan in action and allows us to provide feedback to the district if we observe anything which could interfere with a police response in an emergency.”
Ticonderoga Elementary-Middle School is an open school; most classrooms do not have doors. The safety plan has identified secure areas in the building, though, to shelter students in the event of an emergency.