This afternoon, there was a home invasion and a kidnapping in Streamwood and several nearby schools were put in "secure building mode."
And while I explained in my frenzied Web updates as the situation unfolded (and continues to unfold) that secure building meant movement was limited in and out of those school buildings, one reader on The Courier News' Facebook page asked an excellent question:
Is "secure building" the same thing as a "lockdown?"
The short answer is no. The detailed answer, explaining the difference between secure building and shelter-in-place and a lockdown, is here in this story I wrote last November for the Courier.
When a man called police Friday to report he was at South Elgin High School with a gun, the school went into lockdown.
The school had done lockdown drills before — it’s required at least once a year by state law — but this time it was the real thing.
Principal Melanie Meidel’s voice was different, stressed, as she repeated over the loudspeaker, “This is not a drill. This is not a drill,” according to Elgin School District U46 Safety Coordinator John Heiderscheidt.
Within a minute, teachers had shut off lights, locked classroom doors and hidden students out of sight of doors and windows. Had students and staff been outside the building, they would have been told to get away from the school, Heiderscheidt said.
That’s what’s supposed to happen during a lockdown, according to the district safety coordinator.
That didn’t exactly go according to U46’s lockdown plan, Heiderscheidt posted on Facebook.
In the week since the lockdown at South Elgin High School, the district safety coordinator said, U46 has learned from the incident.
For the rest of the story, read Secure schools: Lockdowns just one way to make them — and students — safer (Sun-Times Media).
Photo credit: Michael Smart for Sun-Times Media.