Every student at Cary Grove High School knows the sound of a gun going off. Freshmen, sophomores, juniors, and seniors learned to recognize the sound on the morning of January 30, 2013.
This learning experience wasn’t part of a lecture or in a workbook or lab in the District 155 school. Instead, the students from Cary and Fox River Grove received their education from the Cary Police Department and Cary Grove school administrators and staff.
For quite some time, District 155 had prepared to go the extra step in their safety and security measures for students. They first had a similar simulation at Crystal Lake South High School with one big difference. The CLS event was without a starter’s gun loaded with blanks fired in the school hallway.
Some parents got upset with the idea of firing in a hallway. They were not upset with safety measures, but stopped short on someone possibly with the school aiming a starter’s gun and firing blanks. They recognized students could then hear the sound of a weapon, but questioned the procedure asking whether someone would practice a fire drill and carry a blowtorch through a hallway.
In some ways, the times dictate the measures. Not long ago, a shooter forced his way into Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conneticut and fatally shot 20 students and 6 adults before killing himself. Many of the students got caught in their rooms.
District 155 in Crystal Lake/Cary believes students must be as prepared as humanly possible to make sound decisions if confronted by someone with extremely bad intentions. You often times go into your memory banks for ways to handle situations like this and if you have no memory of what to do, the chances of making life saving choices are not as great.
We as parents truly want the best for our kids … we wish to shelter them as best we can … protect them against the world if possible. Reality can come with a dose of pain and regret. Our reality on this day comes with people shaking their heads at what one school has to do to give their students something that may someday save their lives. I too shake my head in disbelief …but not at the methods of one Cary Grove High School, but at the type of world we live in.
In my high school years, we never thought someone could come into our school with a loaded gun. The only thing worrying us were bad grades and how mom and dad might react. That’s a different time. Today, let’s make sure our children know what to do in every contingency thrust upon them. They can still go ahead and get good grades and make mom and dad proud and they can go ahead and learn every conceivable way to protect themselves and make mom and dad feel a bit more at ease…though mom and dad will never be fully relaxed until their sons and daughters are getting their diplomas.
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