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  Weekly Feature (April 13, 2008)

Emergency Procedures
by Cheryl


On April 10, 2008 at approximately 1:30 p.m. the New Westminster High School and the Pearson Adult Learning Centre experienced a lockdown. The principal of the high school announced over the PA system that the school was in a lockdown and that it wasnít a drill.

At first, it felt like a drill because we have talked about and practiced the lockdown procedure for our school. Some students wondered if it was really necessary, so after about 45 minutes we checked some news sites on the internet. We were shocked to hear someone thought they had seen a gun in the high school.

Then, my students felt nervous and we wondered when it would be over. Some parents in my class called their childrenís school or made other arrangements to pick up their children because we werenít sure when we would be able to leave the building.

Finally, at about 4:30, we were allowed to leave the building and the grounds. The students went home, and the teachers walked to Lord Kelvin Elementary school to find out what had happened. At about 5:30 we were able to go home. On Friday, the high school and the learning centre were closed.

This was an experience I hope to never repeat, but emergencies are exactly what we donít want to happen. Although we may believe they wonít happen to us, we need to be prepared. Earthquakes, fires, floods, and lockdowns are emergencies we must practice and be prepared for. Hopefully, we wonít need to experience any of these again, but we must always be prepared for an emergency.

During a lockdown, the classroom doors are locked and the blinds closed. Students should remain quiet and calm. Cell phones are useful to call or text family or work. Then, wait for an announcement to evacuate the building.


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