Schools handling safety just fine

Published 8:43 pm Thursday, July 26, 2018

Mass shootings have now become a regular occurrence. It’s easy to get to be desensitized to the tragedy.

School shootings, specifically, seem to happen every time you turn on the news. No city is immune to the terror, because they have happened everywhere — Florida, Missouri, Maryland, New York, Alabama, Michigan and so many more.

Even Suffolk isn’t immune to the threats that have happened all over the country. There were social media threats last school year.

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Thankfully, Suffolk Public Schools has been doing what they can to make sure their schools are as safe as they can be.

They’ve updated safety plans, added additional personnel and adding additional safety measures to make sure the chances of a school shooting are lowered.

Suffolk Public Schools also partnered with the city this week to help with a training drill for an active shooter, and I had the opportunity to get just a little bit of insight.

Suffolk’s police department, sheriff’s office and fire and rescue were part of the exercise. All three departments were part of the drill so that any one of them could respond and be confident.

The drill itself was intense and weirdly comforting to watch.

I was standing on a chair getting ready for photos when I heard someone fire a blank and officers shout “shots fired.”

Even though I knew it was a drill, I somehow still jumped when I heard the shot.

The comforting feeling came when every officer entered the building with their game faces on, and every one of them walked in and took command of the situation.

I’m hoping the feeling I got just watching the drill from afar was the same feeling that the students participating got as they ran out of the building.

The entire King’s Fork High School football team were part of the drill as well, and most of them came barreling out of the building after the first shot was fired.

I’m happy to see the city and the school division taking the right steps to make students and parents feel safe.