Moorhead Schools Replacing the Traditional Lockdown System

Supporters think classrooms should be allowed more options in active shooter emergencies

MOORHEAD, Minn. — A replacement to the usual lockdown protocol will be used in Moorhead.

Teachers and staff members are already getting trained in on the new program.

Columbine and Sandy Hook have become shorthand for horrific school shootings.

It’s part of what sparked a nationwide effort to change the traditional lockdown system used in schools.

“The lockdown protocol we have had was really developed in response to drive by shootings in California several decades ago,” Dan Bacon said. “It was fine for that. You kept the kids hidden, you kept the kids out of sight of whoever was outside of your building.”

Bacon is part of a regional effort to implement the Options Based School Emergency Response program at school districts across the region.

It is being implemented in Moorhead as district staff members begin their training this week.

The point of the new policy is to give teachers options.

They can chose to stay in the classroom, move to a different part of the building, or leave the building all together.”

“We’ve all seen the news on what’s happened in buildings,” Bacon said. “It’s not people driving by. It’s people coming in. We need a better protocol, we need a better response than just trying to hide. If the door is breached, now we’ve got a classroom full of kids that are in danger.”

It’s based on protocols like Run-Hide-Fight and the A.L.I.C.E. program.

Bacon told us several school districts around the country and here in the Valley are already using this.

He said traditional lockdowns limit options, whereas the new protocol puts the classrooms in charge of emergency response.

“If it’s better to evacuate, they should evacuate,” Bacon added. “If it’s better to stay where they are, they should stay where they are.”

He said in an emergency, there’s no time to wait for instructions from higher ups or for law enforcement to show up.

This will give them more options to improve “survivability.”

A report made by the New York Police department says 98% percent of school shootings are carried out by just one person.

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