Would your kids know what to do if there was an emergency at school? One Colorado Springs School District is testing that out right now. D-11 has had crisis plans in place for years. But, with the recent spike in school shootings ... they want to make sure those plans will actually work. So, they're putting teachers and students to the test.
The sky is gray. It's chilly and damp outside Palmer High. Inside the building, it's anything but a typical fall morning. The hallways are empty. Students are behind closed doors. The school is on lockdown. "Every school in Colorado is required to have a crisis plan. But, they're not required to practice them," said Elaine Naleski, Spokesperson for District 11. Palmer High is testing its crisis plan in response to recent tragic school shootings throughout the country. The scenario. A gunman is in the building. Teachers are asked to get their students away from windows and doors, while police officers go room to room. "We have a system in place to tell us when everything's ok in the classroom or it isn't, so police know when to stop or keep going," said Robert Swain, Palmer High School Resource Officer. 15 minutes later, the lockdown is lifted. "It went better than I expected. I'm pretty pleased with how students and staff have reacted to it," commented Swain. And students feel better, knowing that they've practiced what to do in an emergency. "If we didn't have one and something were to happen we'd all be freaking out," said student Alexandria Shea. "It's kind of creepy knowing that two school shootings have happened in colorado over the past 10 years," said student Nikki Frye.
Something unique about safety at Palmer High School ... It's actually Colorado Springs' oldest. Over time, the campus has spread out to several buildings. And school officials say, that poses an extra threat to school security. Which is why they have a different plan in place, for each and every building