The Montessori school in Regina has taken a proactive approach to their school’s security.
Head of the school, Elaine Chapman, said lockdown buttons were installed throughout the building.
“There’s buttons all over,” Chapman said. “In all of the classrooms, in the Synagogue, the book halter room and where the kids eat their lunch … so that if there’s somebody that’s (in the school) that’s suspicious the teacher can lift the lockdown button.”
Chapman said, at this time, teachers have been practising what to do if they need to push the lockdown button.
“(The button) will alert everybody in the school that there’s something wrong over on that side of the school, (as if) there was somebody inside the property, not outside — that’s not lockdown — but that somebody is inside and shouldn’t be here.”
She added the police have come in during staff professional development days to explain what to do.
“It’s the same thing as with first aid right,” Chapman said. “You’re nervous about ever having to run into that kind of situation if you don’t have the training — but if you have the training — then you feel more confident about it and that you can actually do it.”
According to Chapman, all the public schools have a lockdown button, however Montessori will be the first school to actively use the button when needed.
“(The) Ministry don’t have all the rules around that implemented yet … were an independent school so (the ministry) wanted the independent school’s to starting using the lockdown button (as) they haven’t got the rules in place about how it has to work.”
Chapman said the school would then report back to the Ministry what they found is best practice. She added that teachers have been very receptive to the process as they will be well informed of what to do in case of an emergency.
“It’s kind of exciting to say that we’ve got our security in place,” she said adding that parents have also asked her questions about the new security feature. “I’ve had a couple of parents say, ‘Well isn’t that going to scare the kids?’ and so I’ve had to talk to them about it and say ‘Yes it is, it will in a way,’ but then the kids will get used to it just like fire alarms and they’ll know where to go (if that were to) happen.”
Chapman said they hope to have a lockdown drill come March.