The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

Local News

February 24, 2013

Schools update security measures, undergo drills

(Continued)

DANVILLE —

“That’s why we have repetitive training,” he said. “The adrenaline takes over in a stressful situation.”

Thomason added that because of what happened to the teacher during the mock scenario, she is unlikely to forget how to the lock the door again.

“They will go over it again and again in their heads and learn that skill, so to speak, themselves,” he said.

The outcome of the training also reinforced the need for new locks that Danville teachers can lock from inside the classroom without stepping out into the hallway.

“Initially, we’re looking at Columbine locks and two other styles of locks,” Henton said.

With a Columbine lock, a key locks the door from the outside, as well as locks it from the inside of the classroom.

Henton said more than 400 locks will be replaced districtwide, with approximately 170 of those locks being at the high school.

“It’s mainly classroom doors,” he said.

Also, when there is an emergency situation, confusion with directions can set in quickly.

“When there’s an incident, giving directions can be confusing,” he said.

That’s why all the doors at the schools — exterior as well as interior — are being numbered.

Starting with the newly renovated South View Middle School, “we numbered all the doors. On the outside, the numbers are up high, but on the inside they’re down low,” Henton said.

The numbers are low on the interior doors to improve visibility of them because smoke during an emergency situation could obscure numbers if they are higher up on a door.

“It’s mainly for emergency situations,” he said. “We’ve numbered the doors that way at South View, North Ridge and now East Park. Eventually, we will do that to all of the schools.”

Gradual process

Eventually, lighting in all of the school parking lots will be improved and the old intercom systems in all of the school buildings will be upgraded “as the budget allows,” Denman said.

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