Decatur practices first code red drill in two years

Georgia is among the top three states with the most amount of school shootings. Information courtesy of Infographic created by Ella Witz.

Decatur had its first hard/soft lock-in in two years on Friday, Nov. 2. Administrators advised first period teachers and students to close and lock classroom doors, turn off lights and sit in concealed corners or use desks to hide themselves.

Junior Julian Daniel was elected last year onto Decatur’s Student Government Association (SGA). He ran with the hopes of focusing on issues affecting students once elected.

“After I was elected, the number one concern I heard from people was about school safety, specifically what students are supposed to do in the event of a ‘code red’ situation,” Daniel said.

Daniel and others created a task force, a group of students who act on behalf of SGA as a whole, to address this issue. The task force met with Assistant Principal Susan Weber in September where they addressed lack of code red drills and laid out plans on how to resolve it.

“It made me aware that yes, [students] are great getting out of the building for a fire drill,” Weber said, “but that [students’] bigger concern… is about intruders and, specifically, shooters.”

Weber also noted that the reason Decatur did not have a code red drill in the past two years was due to construction.

As a result of the meeting between SGA and Weber, Decatur will have four code red drills per year, with the next one being before holiday break.

“It was good to hear the concerns of you all, the students, because sometimes we’re flying up here at 30,000 feet and you guys are on the ground and you’re living it,” Weber said.

Some worried parents did take to Facebook to voice their concern with the drills, but despite their criticism, Weber still sees value in holding the drills.

“If we don’t practice and something happens, then people are going to say, ‘Why didn’t you practice?” Weber said. “We have to do what we know is best for the school house and what we’ve been trained to do.”