With last week’s incident in the Harrisburg school district, Tea Area superintendent Jennifer Lowery said her immediate reaction was what they needed to do in her district.
Since they did not know the specifics of the incident, Tea Area did go into a lock-in district-wide for about 90 minutes to 2 hours. The all-clear was given when Harrisburg gave the all-clear.
During a lock-in, Lowery said class continues as normal but movement in and out of the building is restricted. Children do not go outside for recess and all doors are locked.
Lowery said the school district has security measures and a safety guide in place that are highly confidential. During the school year, the whole district will participate in lockdown, fire and tornado drills. The entire district staff goes through training at least once a year.
“Safety is one of those pieces that they sign off that they attended,” she said.
The district takes safety seriously and is working on building a new security entrance at the high school. Bids were opened last week and will be approved at the Oct. 12 board meeting.
Lowery said the district has counselors in all buildings and behavior specialists that are shared between buildings.
“I would encourage if a parent has a concern about their child, please don’t hesitate to let us know. Talk to the counselor. Talk to the principal,” Lowery said. “We just are really trying to look, just like any other school district, for kids who are in need.”
Lowery said the priority in the district, above everything else, is safety for students and staff.
“We are extremely appreciative of the community for investing in our buildings and in our kids. I would rather have a false lock-in or lockdown called by one of my staff members than oh we should have. I hope that people understand that we will always go on the side of precaution and that our kids’ safety is at the forefront of our minds at all times,” Lowery said.