One Pennsylvania school is taking their active shooter drill to a whole new level.
With the start of the school year just kicking off, schools across the country are conducting active shooter drills to ensure that both students and staff are prepared for any worst-scenario events that may happen at their school. Bethel Park High School in Bethel Park, Pennsylvania, is doing an active shooter drill today and they’re attempting to make it as real as possible.
According to WPXI, the school has a scheduled active shooter drill today and they’ve enlisted the help of the school police as well as a trained A.L.I.C.E. (which stands for Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter and Evacuate) team to take part in the drill. And during the actual drill, the A.L.I.C.E. team will be in the hallway, shooting rounds of blanks to make the drill more lifelike so that students would know what to expect if there was actual gunfire.
School officials sent out a letter to the parents of students to let them know that this would be happening at the school this week.
“The faculty and staff have been apprised of the situation and over the next few days the students will be shown a PowerPoint in homeroom, providing them with the needed information,” the letter read.
Parents express concern over blanks being used in active school shooter drill at Bethel Park High School — https://t.co/UACLplTxR4
— KDKA (@KDKA) September 13, 2018
The publication interviewed a few parents and grandparents of students to get their opinion on the school’s interesting tactic of using blanks to make the drill more realistic and the reviews were mixed. While some were fully on board with the school’s decision, others didn’t find it was totally necessary.
“Students have been prepared; although, I have not been advised about what that preparation consists of,” parent Nanette Adams told CBS. “My concern is for students who may have some sort of issue with anxiety, post traumatic stress disorder, special needs students.”
Additionally, Adams thinks that the school should have provided more information to parents on the drill.
“There are homes located nearby, and I have no idea if anyone who does not have a student in the district has been informed that this drill is going to be taking place. There’s a lot of unknown variables of what could potentially happen if a homeowner nearby heard shots being fired off.”
But, another parent at the school, Nicki Sink, says that she thinks the drill is a good idea.
“Why not give them the tools to be ready for it instead of being worried about a traumatic experience of what could be a traumatic experience,” she said.
It remains to be seen if any other schools will also try drills with blanks.