Pony Express News

How safe are we?

Jacqueline Rodriguez, Reporter

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With all the gun violence and school shootings that have happened in the past years — such as the shootings in Columbine High School in 1999, Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012, and a close one here in Northern Illinois University in 2008 — are we safe as a school? Many students may not know, but we do have a safety plan here at Morton in case of these situations; we even do safety drills just like we do with hurricanes and fires.

Recently there was an attempt school shooting this past November 15, 2017 where a gunman killed four people in Rancho Tehama, Northern California. The killer was unable to break into an elementary school thanks to the staff taking action, locking the school doors, and hiding their students underneath desks and tables. The shooter walked into the schoolyard, and fired his rifle through windows and walls. The school district said a student was wounded by gunfire and others were hurt by flying glass, but no students were actually killed, according to CNN news.

An interview was conducted about our safety plan here at Morton East with head dean in charge of safety Mr. Eric Ramirez.

Mr. Eric Ramirez is the head dean at Morton East.

Question: What is the safety plan in case of an intruder?

Answer: We do lockdowns, dog searches, there’s an announcement letting know that there is an intruder.

Q: Does the school make the safety plan or the school board?

A: Both, in a way, We plan it and the school board approves it.

Q: As a student, what is recommended to do in case of this happening?

A: Follow your teachers instructions, and if you’re in the halls, go to the nearest classroom.

Q: Are the teachers aware of the safety plan?

A: Yes, every teacher knows that they should lock their classroom doors, turn off the lights, have students hide, and keep away from the windows.

Q: Is there anyone in specific in charge during these situations?

A: Everyone has different roles and specific instructions.

Q: Do you get police involved or have school security handle it?

A: Yes, police is definitely involved.

Q: Do the parents get notified?

A: Yes, parents get notified via school global calls.

Q: Are there any safety exits or hiding places around the school that we aren’t aware of meant for these specific situations?

A: No, we don’t have any designated spots besides your room.

Q: What is your opinion in having weapons on school grounds to handle these tragedies?

A: Only trained personal or police officers should be the ones handling weapons. Other than that, no weapons should be allowed in school.

Q: Has there ever been an intruder that had the school in lockdown?

A: Since I could remember no, I’ve been only been a dean for 5 years.

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The student news site of Morton East High School
How safe are we?