The sight of an elementary school surrounded by police cars can instantly strike fear into the heart of any parent. Recently, though, this has been a common sight across the county as schools have been practicing and polishing their lock-down procedures with the help of law enforcement officers.
A number of representatives from Leitchfield Police Department, Grayson County Sheriff’s Office, Kentucky State Police and local fire departments have been present along with school officials to conduct lock-down drills and to work toward improving and streamlining school procedures to ensure the safest possible environment for area children.
Caryn Lewis, public relations representative for Grayson County Schools explained that these drills have always been conducted, though “due to recent events, we want to make sure all parties are on the same page.”
The schools released a statement earlier this week, which read, “Grayson County Schools have long had an emergency plan for any number of incidents, but now more than ever, continue to proactively work with law enforcement and community officials to refine the plan.”
As officers and school system administrators moved through Wilkey Elementary School on Friday morning, it was apparent that both students and school staff were taking the drill seriously. A voice came over the loudspeaker announcing the lock-down, and the building fell silent.
Officers moved down the hallways, following procedure and discussing potential ways to improve safety in emergency situations as well as in day-to-day school policy.
Principal Gwen Lucas said after the lock-down, “We are a lot better prepared today than we were a week ago.”
Lucas added, “our staff did just what they were supposed to do, we’ve just got some tweaking to do.”
District Safety Director, Arnold Hack, said Friday that the participating law enforcement officers were “very complimentary of all our schools this week.”
Hack also said that the drills went very smoothly, and “everyone should be commended. Not only do we have the plans in place, but we are actively working them to make them better.”
In addition to the full-scale lock-down drills, school officials and employees have arranged to meet with officers to discuss any questions and concerns that teachers and others may be able to bring to the table in order to add to the emergency plans.