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School Lockdown Tips for Parents

Apr 25, 2018 08:02PM ● By Linda Ditch
School lockdowns are all over the news, including recent incidents at Hanover High. Often, parents interviewed by media mention being confused about what to do and how to locate their child. While kids are well trained in this important procedure, parents feel out of the loop, especially since most parents didn’t have lockdown drills when they were in school.

Do you know what to do when you’re notified that your child’s school is on lockdown? First, have you ever talked to your child about the lockdown drills they practice in school? Most kids start to learn about this in preschool and elementary school. It’s a good idea to ask them what happens during the drill and to encourage them to follow the teacher’s directions. But it’s also important to talk with them in a calm, matter-of-fact manner so you don’t make them anxious.
It’s a good idea to take a look at your student’s school handbook. Both Frances C. Richmond Middle School and Hanover High School have these available online, with sections addressing lockdown drills. Unfortunately, the information is brief, but this is where your student can fill in the gaps.

Next, is your contact information up to date at your child’s school? We all fill out those forms at the beginning of the academic year, but sometimes things change as the year progresses. Make sure the school has your current phone number and email address.

Finally, do you know how your child’s school will contact you if there’s an emergency? Think about it—your high-school student texts that the school is in a lockdown, and there’s a shooter in the building. What would you do? Like most parents, there would be a moment of panic. Then what? Many times, parents head to the school, which often causes more problems in these circumstances. Does your school have a communication plan in the event of an emergency? A meet-up spot where you should go to pick up your child? If you don’t know, then ask. An email to a teacher or to the principal can provide the information you need.

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