The Oregon-Davis School Corporation has considerable room for improvement when it comes to following school safety protocol. School and law enforcement officials put their response to the test yesterday with an unannounced exercise involving an off-duty state trooper dressed in street clothes attempting to get into the high school. He walked in through a door in the shop area that was propped open and strolled around the school for a few minutes before a teacher notified the office and a lockdown notice was issued.
Even then some teachers and students continued about their normal routines instead of turning off lights, locking classroom doors and ensuring that everyone was safe. Superintendent Greg Briles, current school resource officer Fred Baker and Hamlet Police Officers Frank Lonigro and Kyle Hinds, who will also be working in the schools starting next month, spoke during a brief assembly afterward about the need to follow protocol. Additional unannounced drills will be conducted on a more frequent basis at the school to ensure everyone is aware of what to do should an unauthorized person enter the school. School officials stress this drill is an initial measurement of the school’s preparedness and say they expect considerable improvement after more drills take place.
This week’s exercise will be the focus of Sunday’s “Kankakee Valley Viewpoints” program at noon CST on K99.3 WKVI-FM.