Director of Texas School Safety Center offers tips on school lockdown drills

Dr. Victoria Calder with the Texas School Safety Center at Texas State University says, since she wasn't on hand to witness the drill at Small Middle School she can't critique it, "...but what I will say is that it is best practice at the beginning of a drill to announce, 'This is a drill' and to repeat that announcement, 'This is a drill', typically every three to five minutes throughout the drill."

Calder says it's important for schools to be able to stop the drill if a real emergency, like a heart attack, occurs.  She also says schools should be cautious about pre-publicizing drills because someone could use that opportunity to engage in what she calls a "real world event".  Regarding prior notification of a drill, she says "It's typically not a good idea to pre-publicize that you're going to have a lockdown, particularly, enough in advance that someone can choose that opportunity to engage in a real world, harmful event." She adds that drills are important and adds that "If the first time you do a lockdown or the first time you do an evacuation is the day your life depends on doing that well, you will lose some measure of survivability."

For more information visit the Safety Center's website,

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