Posted Date: 10/02/2020
October 2, 2020 – Amarillo ISD explains some important school safety procedures that are commonly confused in the newest episode of District’s informational video series For the Record.
Secure lockout and lockdown are two terms parents may hear in conjunction with emergency events happening at or near schools. In both cases, the District works closely with police to determine when one action is necessary and when it’s safe to return to normal school operations.
During a secure lockout, there may be a threat outside the school building, such as police activity nearby. Students and staff remain inside the school building and classes continue as usual, but exterior doors will remain locked.
When a lockdown happens, an announcement will instruct all students to remain either where they are or enter the nearest classroom where there is a staff member. Interior and exterior doors, including all classroom doors, will be locked and only uniformed law enforcement can enter the building.
In both instances, the District will notify parents with a phone call and give additional instructions if they are necessary. Parents and visitors are asked to not go to the school during a lockout or a lockdown. Allowing people to come and go during these times jeopardizes school security and creates a distraction for police and school staff who need to focus their attention on safety.
“In a secure lockout or a lockdown, the safest place for students is in the building. This is why we ask that parents not attempt to pick up their child from school during those events. We also encourage parents to make sure their child’s school has their most current contact information so that we can let them know what’s going on,” said Kevin Phillips, AISD deputy superintendent. “Another important thing to note is students who have cell phones might alert their parents that something is going on before the District contacts them. That’s okay, but be assured we’re working to get parents accurate information as soon as we can.”
Safety is the District’s highest priority and AISD has experienced staff who work to strengthen the security of schools. However, one of the most effective safety measures lies with parents, students and the community—“See something, say something.” The District encourages parents to have continued conversations with their students and reinforce that anything unusual or suspicious that is overheard, read, seen or posted on social media should be reported to a parent, the school or law enforcement right away.
More information on these safety procedures can be learned in AISD’s For the Record video series.