ANCHORAGE, Ala.– Students at a high school in Alaska experienced a realistic active shooter drill last week complete with simulated gunfire.
During the scenario, KTVA reports students in the area where the “shooter” was located piled furniture against the classroom doors to barricade themselves in. Other classrooms were evacuated.
As the school’s resource officer fired blanks in the hallway, Principal Sam Spinella announced over the intercom, “This is just a drill,” and gave a description of a suspect as well.
KTVA reports Spinella explained the drill to the teachers and Assistant Principal Josh Green walked the halls during the drill to see how students reacted.
Green said the drill was meant to teach students and teachers alike what actual gunfire in the hallways sounds like.
“So many times you read about these active shooter situations where they hear a gun going off like that and they think it’s something different,” Green told KTVA. “You’re programmed to think ‘I’m safe all the time,’ right, so when you hear something like that you think, ‘I’ve got to take some action on this.’”
Many classrooms were dark with furniture blocking the door, but a few rooms didn’t act as well; students could be seen and heard from the hallway.
Parents had been informed of the drill via an email on Friday so they could discuss it with their child over the weekend and a phone call on Sunday to remind them it was happening the next day.
Green noted the drill had been planned for weeks and wasn’t connected to the deadly school shooting in Parkland, Florida.