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Schools use "lockdown" to protect students

By Kristen Pope, Reporter, kpope@ktxs.com
Published On: Dec 17 2012 09:30:53 PM CST
ABILENE, TX -

Families connected to the Sandy Hook Elementary shootings heard "lockdown" used again and again.

Some didn't know what it meant. We found out what it means and how it affects the safety of students.

Schools around the country are reviewing and rethinking their safety plans. We spoke with Dyess Elementary School Principal Michael Newton. He said their school has two different levels of lockdown. The first is the most serious.

"It's a very short call over the PA system which means it is very severe," said Newton. Get all the doors locked. Get the children in a safe part of the classroom."

Newton also said, "The other one is a procedure and its all done by code word where we will lockdown the campus.  It's usually where I want to make sure kids stay in one spot for a little bit."

Once the lockdown is cleared and over, there is still one more checkpoint.

"We have a callout System that we can notify parents that we had an incident occur, that your child is safe, and if you need further information that you can contact the school," said Newton.

Following the shooting on Monday, the school focused on keeping things normal for kids.

Dyess Elementary School Counsel Karen Clemmer said, "Normalcy is huge. You know routine is huge for kids and so the teachers and administrators have to be careful with our demeanor."

Newton said parents are informed after the lockdown procedure, to keep them from showing up and interrupting the first responders.