LCHS acts on active shooter training

VANCEBURG – Lewis County High School looks to make some security changes following active shooter training with the Kentucky State Police.

The free training took place last week, according to Principal Jack Lykins. KSP led the training in conjunction with the Vanceburg Police Department and the Lewis County Sheriff’s Department.

“They came out and met with staff of both the high school and the vocational school,” Lykins told the Board of Education on Monday. “It was more or less active shooter training.”

According to Lykins, the first hour consisted of an informational session.

“They gave us information on what to expect going out into the building and what we need to be doing and how we should react if something were to happen,” Lykins said.

After the informational session, the next hour and a half consisted of live training.

“They sectioned us off into classrooms,” Lykins said. “They would go through and fire blanks in the school four times so we could actually hear what it would sound like in the school and see the reaction of staff as to what should take place.”

The training was conducted after school hours and no students were present in the building during the training, according to Lykins.

Law enforcement then brought everyone back into the high school’s library to discuss what reactions to an active shooting situation needs to be.

“They gave us suggestions as to what we need to be doing in the building,” Lykins said.

One suggestion that the high school had already implemented was to keep classroom doors locked at all times.

“Our teachers since Christmas have locked their doors so if we go into lockdown it saves about five or six seconds,” Lykins said.

Lykins said another suggestion was to cover all classroom door windows.

“For the last 15 years police departments have gone back and forth on whether you leave your classroom windows open or not,” Lykins said. “They recommended covering all classroom windows.”

Lykins said he is having mirrored tint ordered for LCHS classroom doors.

“Teachers can see out but no one can see in,” Lykins said. “That way if someone knocks, teachers can look and see who it is before they open the door. Nobody would know if they are standing at the door.”

Another suggestion that was recently implemented was having all students report to the first period before the first bell rings in the morning.

“Prior to today [March 12, 2018] all of our kids would go to the gym until 8 a.m. when the bell rang,” Lykins said. “Today we rang a bell at 7:45 and all students reported to first period.”

Lykins said the reason given for this change is to not give a potential early morning shooter a large group of people in one area.

“The biggest target is the gym,” Lykins said. “You’ve got about 300 to 400 kids in there.”

Lykins said the first time having students report to the first period went very well. Lykins said teachers told students on Friday what to expect on Monday.

“We told them what we’re doing is for their safety and not because we want to be jerks and send them to first period,” Lykins said.

“I would recommend every school have this training,” Lykins said. “I had multiple teachers after it was over say it was the best training they ever had.”

Lykins said the drill was much different than a normal lockdown drill.

“Hearing that gunshot three or four times was eye-opening,” Lykins said.