Give students, parents warning of drills

Published 12:01 am Wednesday, November 20, 2019

It has long been the practice of public schools to conduct fire drills to ensure school administrators, teachers and students have a plan to get people out safely in the event of an actual fire.

New this year is a requirement by the Mississippi Department of Education that schools also conduct active shooter drills at least twice per year.

The new policy is the result of legislation passed in the Mississippi Legislature earlier this year requiring each of the state’s school districts to conduct active shooter drills twice a year within the first 60 days of a new semester.

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Unfortunately in today’s society it is important that schools conduct active shooter drills so everyone involved will know how to act in the event of a real emergency.

We applaud the active shooter drill requirement.

Making sure everyone understands the dangers and how to act or react in such situations can help minimize confusion and casualties in the event an actual shooting emergency occurs.

Natchez-Adams County School District conducted an active shooter drill last week at Morgantown Middle School that caused some confusion for at least one student and family member.

NASD Assistant Superintendent Zandra McDonald said school administrators, school personnel and law enforcement were given advance notice of the drill but not students and parents.

We question the wisdom of not giving students and parents advance notice of such drills. In last week’s case, at least one student did not understand the intercom announcement to be “just a drill.”

While we believe active shooter drills are important for the school districts to conduct, we also believe the students and parents should be forewarned of the plan to minimize any undue stress on the students and parents.