Gulf County works to keep kids safe

Published: Thursday, March 14, 2013 at 09:52 AM.

This tabbed, easy to use guide provides emergency instructions for hazardous materials spills, weapons on school grounds, lost or missing children, assaults, bomb threats, fires, severe weather and hostage situations.

While the staff is well-prepared, administrators keep the students ready using mock drills scheduled periodically throughout the year. Monthly fire drills and bi-annual tornado and lockdown drills keep protocols fresh in the minds of the children.

During the last school board meeting Norton mentioned that school administrators are working with Gulf County Sherriff Mike Harrison to incorporate additional drills into practice, especially those dealing with live threats. They hope to have these exercises in place soon.

“We live in a part of the country where we respect the Second Amendment and respect a lifestyle where students are also hunters,” Norton said, “but if someone pulls a gun in a threatening manner, our SROs will do anything necessary to protect the children.”

Since reaction time is so important, teachers are given full autonomy to make judgment calls with each situation that arises.

The school is tied into the Emergency Operations Center and Strickland has undergone extensive training to ensure that he’s ready for anything.

“SWAT teams have practiced drills inside the high school on weekends,” said Strickland. “It’s so important that they’re familiar with layout in case something happens.”

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