Students practice for potential intruders


Sarah Booth

Following the Intruder Drill procedure, junior Vericia Pearson hides underneath the desk.

Following the procedure in the Common Ground activity on Jan. 21, students in all grade levels practiced the intruder drill in their fourth hour classrooms.

“Parkway School District has committed to an “options-based” preparation for an intruder situation. The entire staff was trained in the 4E’s (Educate, Evade, Escape, Engage), whose purpose is to educate everyone on the options available to them in an intruder situation,” Junior Class Principal Mario Pupillo said.

For Wednesday’s drill, all students and faculty were instructed to practice the ‘evade’ or lockdown option.

“The specifics of how that translated in to each classroom were unique to each setting and the teacher and students in that room,” Pupillo said.

In Jeff Duncan’s Algebra II/Trig class, sophomores Nick Wotruba and Clay Bierk were in charge of holding the door shut.

“We boarded up the door with tables and chairs. Then Clay and I wrapped a power cord around the door handle. I leaned my whole body weight around it so it wouldn’t open,” Wotruba said.

Amie Gossett’s Directing class had a similar way to protect themselves during the intruder drill.

“She gave us 20 seconds to prepare, so we put tables, chairs and backpacks to block the door. Then we hid in the closet, pushed a giant refrigerator in front of the door and put our backs against it,” senior Noah Bozue said.

Sally Soulier had her Honors Biology class move the desks and chairs to block the doorway.

“She told us to move the desks to the front of the room to block the door. We also grabbed rocks and heavy textbooks to protect ourselves. This way we would know what to do if there was ever an intruder. Soulier wanted the experience to be as realistic as possible,” sophomore Claire Pellegrino said.

Although all students were required to stay in their classrooms during the drill, Bierk said he would not if there was a real intruder.

“In the future, I would not stay in the class but I guess it would depend on how close the intruder was. I would find the nearest exit,” Bierk said.

Pupillo wants to make sure that everyone knows what to in the event there is an intruder by practicing the correct procedure during an intruder drill.

“If there was an actual emergency to occur, staff and students can rely on the practice and training to make the best possible decisions in staying safe,” Pupillo said.

Even though there are no more drills planned for this school year, the school will continue to have them for years to come.

“The number of drills and how they look is something that we will continue to explore as we continue our work in keeping our school as safe as possible,” Pupillo said.