Shotgun blanks to be shot inside school today as part of drill

Tuesday, October 01, 2019 @ 5:02 AM
By Ed Richter - Staff Writer

There will be a heavy police presence today at and around Franklin High School as police and school officials conduct an active shooter drill with staff and students.

Today’s drill will consist of Franklin police firing blanks in the building using a shotgun and rifle several times so students and staff can react as they would in a real world scenario between 7:30 and 10:30 a.m.

During the controlled drill, students and staff will practice barricading in classrooms and evacuating the building school officials said. Officials said the drill will be handled slowly, step by step, to accurately inform students and staff of best practices to handle active threats.

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The remainder of the day will be devoted to conversations in each of the students’ classrooms related to safety, as well as other Social Emotional Activities to help students process any emotions they feel as a result of the drill. Counselors will also be on hand to assist students.

School Resource Officer Amanda Myers said students will meet in their homerooms and will be taken to the auditorium for a presentation about the drill they are about to experience. She said teachers in the building went through a similar drill two weeks ago.

Myers said after the presentation, students will return to their classrooms and await the start of the scripted drill. She said teachers will have the option to say where the shots were coming from or not during the drill. During each set of shots, the students and teachers will talk about it and a possible plan of action whether to barricade their classroom or evacuate.

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Outside of the building, staff members will be wearing safety vests to assist and direct students to pre-determined safe zones. In addition, there will be school buses circulating in the adjacent neighborhood which will also be safe zones. The safety staff members will have a list of safety steps relating to medical treatment, cover and concealment, bus locations.

Following the drill, students will return to their homerooms as well as back to the auditorium for a one-hour debriefing. After lunch, students will have discussions with their teachers and participate in social emotional activities

The remainder of the day will be devoted to conversations in each of the students’ classrooms related to safety, as well as other Social Emotional Activities to help students process any emotions they feel as a result of the drill.

On Monday night, more than two dozen parents met with police and school officials, to answer questions about today’s drill. A letter was sent to parents

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Rodney Roberts, district business manager, said every classroom has a barricade doorstop to keep doors from being forced open by an intruder. During the drill, students will be encourage to use the device in an active shooting incident.

“We want to inform, educate and empower students,” Roberts said. “I feel very strongly about this. We’ve been talking about this for two years. It’s the next step to building a solid plan.”

Principal Kelli Fromm told parents, “Our ultimate goal is our students safety.”