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Cary-Grove High School 'Code Red Drill' Includes Gunfire Sounds

Police on Wednesday will fire off blanks at Cary Grove High School to simulate a real-life lock down situation involving guns.

In an effort to familiarize teachers and students with the sounds of gunfire, Cary-Grove High School will conduct a lock-down drill on Wednesday where police officers plan to fire blanks in the hallway.

Cary-Grove Principal Jay Sargeant explained in a letter to parents the drill is part of a districtwide effort to increase student safety. Sargeant asked parents to discuss the drill ahead of time to ease any possible emotional reactions from hearing the sounds.

"The simulation will take approximately 15-20 minutes, during which time teachers will secure their rooms, draw curtains, and keep their students from traveling throughout the building," Sargeant said. 

The school's resource officer and members of Cary Police Department will assist staff in sweeping the building, located at 2208 Three Oaks Rd. in Cary, to ensure all students are in a secure location during the drill, he said.

At the conclusion, staff and police officers will evaluate the drill, and students will return to normal classroom routine.   

"These drills help our students and staff to be prepared should a crisis occur, but it may cause some students to have an emotional reaction," Sargeant said.

"In those cases, your voice may provide reassurances of the drill’s importance.  Additionally, we have trained social workers on staff who can speak directly with your child should he or she need added support."

Parents with any questions can contact Sargeant, or any member of the Cary-Grove’s administrative team. 

Last month, Crystal Lake South conducted a similar drill before winter break, said Jeff Puma, communications director for District 155.

"We are using the simulated gunfire to help inform our students and staff what it sounds like so that they can react more quickly should actual gunfire occur," Puma said.

"Cary-Grove is working hand-in-hand with the Cary Police Department to ensure that we prepare our students and staff should an emergency occur. We believe that any effort we can undertake to keep our students safe is time well spent."

marylou frost January 30, 2013 at 05:03 PM
Totally agree! What ever happened to common sense! Drills are necessary but this make about as much sense as setting off a small atomic bomb so we could practice duck and cover during the late 50s and 60s!
Tbone January 30, 2013 at 05:13 PM
It is a sad day for our society when I read the negative comments above regarding how this will negatively impact the kids, they will have trauma, nightmares...are you kidding me???? These kids are in high school for one, they are not in kindergarten, give me a break. Keep in mind the "GUN" is a Starters pistol used in Track, I'm sure you have seen them used at the Olympics. The thing that concerns me is that although this drill provides awareness, all the teachers do is draw the blinds and shut the door, that does nothing to protect anyone! All you parents saying this will traumatize the kids, have they not been to a fireworks display? Really, really are we that stupid.
TheWhiteOwl January 30, 2013 at 06:45 PM
Its a white suburban neighborhood, if kids are going to be traumatized by this what will they do if they ever have to work or live in an urban environment where gunshots are a regular occurrence and a social norm?
Jimmy Johns January 31, 2013 at 02:43 AM
A track starting pistol was used. It's not like it was a 12 gauge. A starting pistol sounds like a book falling on the ground...not loud at all. This was good practice for the school. Nobody was traumatized by a track pistol firing blanks. I would know I go to the school and it went completely fine today. This was a great idea and I praise the school for trying something new. That's the only reason this is on the news, because no one has tried it before. Whoever says that this could be traumatizing to us kids is ridiculous and just doesn't realize that kids can handle the sound of a little pop gun.
Local January 31, 2013 at 03:03 PM
You are the same people that would scream and cry that the schools didn't do enough, if god forbid something did happen! "the risks of mental trauma"....seriously? "as all firearms sound different"...SERIOUSLY?? You are way misinformed, all firearms go BANG, it's just a matter of how loud!! It's obvious you're child could probably benefit from some real world experience, if this is the information he gets at home.

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