Warren High Moves to an Active Lock Down Strategy

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It's the worst case scenario and students are told not to become "sitting targets."

Warren High School tosses out the old lock down strategy, now telling the students to run or attack. They practice this with a mock active school shooting.

"So unfortunately in this day and age, someone decides to do something like that they're going to want as many victims as they can in a short amount of time so to counteract that," says Washington County Chief Deputy Mark Warden, "you evacuate the school and get them out."

The students react as the scenario plays out. An active shooter, played by an officer, is inside the school. He is followed by observers made up of law enforcement, school administration, and other area school principals observing the drill.

Firecrackers are used to sound like shots being fired. School officials then make an announcement to the entire school saying there is a shooter and where he is. Classrooms near the shooter go to lock down, everyone else... runs.

The officer posing as a shooter, Lt. Randy Stackpole, sees it first hand. "I was looking straight up the hall way, it was just a mass of kids and they exited the building, it was like they were there, then they were gone."

Washington County Sheriff's Deputies then were able to react as if it were actually happening. "I actually talked to some of the officers, they felt it, they actually felt the stress," says Chief Deputy Warden. "I think it was a win-win situation for the staff here at Warren High School, for the students, and for law enforcement."

In the end, students were able to ask questions about what happened, all having a common answer, use common sense.

"Get to safety, that could be one of three things to get to safety," explains Warren High School Principal, Dan Leffingwell "it could be hide, lock down and hide, it could be flee, or it could actually be defend yourself and fight, depending upon where the shoot is at and the threat is."

"If they would've turned and came toward the shooter today, granted you have got four or five hundred kids in that hallway, the shooter would be able to get some shots off, but they're going to be able to over power him, I think it would've been over with fairly quick."

Those implementing this new strategy say no matter what people are going to get hurt but this active approach could save lives.

The drill was observed by other schools throughout the county.

The Sheriff's Office and school administrators praised the students for their good judgment and quick response.

The Sheriff's Office was joined by E-M-S, dispatchers, Beverly police, and Marietta police.

Marietta City Schools implemented a similar strategy last school year. Both Warren and Marietta are the only two in the county currently practicing an active approach.

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