Connecticut School Shooting Reaffirms Importance of Crisis Drill Held in Spring

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The shooting at a Connecticut elementary school is the most recent in a series of shootings over the past several months including one earlier this week in Oregon. Last May Wauwatosa West students played a part in a crisis drill set up by the police department, fire department, and school district at Whitman Middle school that played out a variety of scenarios where a shooter entered the school.

“The plan is pretty much the same as it was then. The school would go into a full lockdown, we would utilize the camera system to locate the disturbance, and I would remain in the building the whole time,” said West’s School Resource Officer Farris Griffin. Griffin predicts that some changes will be coming including more practicing of full technical drills to be sure of the best possible way to resolve any conflict.

Social studies teacher, Andy Zietlow, was shocked to hear the news of the shooting. He says it hit him particularly hard because he has children in elementary school. When it comes to feeling safe at West, Zietlow said, “It makes me feel somewhat more secure knowing that our city has thought about what to do. They’re not just talking about a couple of people in squad cars.”

Susie Shively, a senior at West, was an actor in the crisis drill earlier this year. Shively said, “It was quite terrifying. I was playing the person the shooter was looking for.” Although she feels that being prepared for a situation is very different from being in the situation itself, she feels safe because she knows places in the school she can go to feel safe and knows how quickly help comes.