By Delaney Simmons//Opinion Editor
An emergency training exercise on campus featured a mock hostage situation and a simulated triage center set up in the school parking lot. School administrators, teachers, and students participated in connection with local safety personal.
Law enforcement and emergency personal from the Encinitas Fire Department and the Carlsbad Police Department descended on campus for an emergency training exercise. More than fifteen selected students took part in the exercise which involved an undercover police officer posing as a gunman.
The drill was scheduled for noon and all teachers and students were notified days in advance. The drill lasted over two hours and proved successful.
All of the classrooms successfully went into lock down. Each classroom was individually evacuated by a policeman who had a key, in order to insure student security. “Injured” students were evacuated first to the triage center, set up in the parking lot.
Chris Sayer from the Encinitas Fire Department was taking student vitals and ensuring health, “[In a real emergency] we would treat all of the injured students with anything we could fix and then send them off to the hospital.”
All of the healthy students were evacuated and escorted to the field. There was a lot of speculation from faculty that students did not take the drill seriously. English teacher Nicole Housen said, “It is hard to take something seriously until it actually happens.”
The students were not made aware of the simulated events. This differs from last years because the actual threat was not present.
Assistant Principle Doug Kamon said, “Students are taking it seriously, if it were the real thing than they might be more quite, but they are very organized, they are going where they are supposed to go, they are sitting where they are supposed to sit.” During the last class on the day of the drill, a police man dressed in sweats and a sweatshirt was released onto campus [. He approached students that were loitering outside the library and bathrooms asking questions regarding the school and details about security.
In a staged confrontation with Meredith Adams (11), the man asked, “Do all of the teachers have radios? Do you know of anyone who has guns here at the school?” Adams responded as a student might in a real confrontation, “I don’t know.” This addition to the drill was one of the many tests throughout the day for faculty members. Administration did not alert any of the teachers of the man that would be walking around.
One teacher did pass the test proving to administrators that teachers are constantly on the alert for suspicious people. Many students have begun coining the phrase, “Maverick Man,” referring to history teacher Bill Vice. He noticed the suspicious man and “saved” the day.
“He was goofy looking, he popped his head into my room, didn’t say anything and… I escorted him down to the Admin. Building [to make sure],” said Mr. Vice.
Mr. Vice apprehended the undercover policeman, despite the man’s assurance that he was in fact a part of the drill.
Many students were laughing and giggling through the rest of the drill where they met up with friends and socialized with teachers while waiting out the rest of the day.. Student Cody Christensen (10) said, “I am just going with it; I do not know what is going on right now.” At the end, many administrators were happy with the drill and stated that it was a success and a learning process.
“The likelihood of something like this happening is very rare but we were prepared,” said Assistant Principle Marc Trocchio.