By BRIAN SMITH
It’s the worst thing a parent can imagine: having a shooting at your child’s school.
With recent incidents across the country, law enforcement and first responders conducted a mock active shooter drill Saturday at Juan Seguin Elementary School to prepare for such scenarios.
About 55 Weatherford High School students and 35 staff members volunteered their time to take part in the drill. Many of the students were victims of the shooting, which involved a pair of shooters, both of which were “killed.”
As part of the realism of the event, three students were “treated” for non-life threatening injuries, according to WISD Director of Public Information Derik Moore.
Although the mock drill took place on an elementary campus, the actual active shooter scenario was based on a high school setting. WISD Executive Director of Security and Transportation Grant Priess said Seguin was chosen for the training site because it is a smaller scaled-down facility which provides for a variety of scenarios.
It was called one of the largest active mock drills in Parker County history, with representatives from the Weatherford Police Department, Parker County Sheriff’s Department, Weatherford Fire Department, LifeCare EMS, Texas Department of Public Safety and Weatherford Regional Medical Center.
“This staged event will be the first time in several years that our first responders have conducted a drill of this magnitude at one of our campuses,” Priess said in an e-mail last week. “It is designed and will be conducted as close to an actual event as possible.”
WISD Superintendent Dr. Jeffrey Hanks said the drill serves a vital role in keeping all WISD students safe.
“The protection of our young people is our highest priority,” Hanks wrote in an e-mail. “Unfortunately, as we have seen in recent years, no school is immune to the possibility of an attack. This is an especially important drill because, from a school district perspective, it increases our effort to provide safe and secure buildings for our students. We will receive valuable feedback as a result from this drill.”
Precautions were taken to ensure safety for everyone involved. No one was allowed in or out of the school area without being cleared by police. Weatherford police officers also alerted nearby homeowners, telling them what would be going on.
Students and staff met with law enforcement personnel last week to determine roles and make things as realistic as possible while keeping participants safe.