For decades, students have been practicing fire drills at school. Now, they’re forced to practice active shooter drills.
Jemez Valley Schools worked with the Sandoval County Sheriff’s office to organize Wednesday morning’s drill, just three months after the department responded to the Cleveland High School shooting.
It’s a drill that teachers and law enforcement wish they didn’t have to do. “The fact we have to do these kinds of drills is nothing I’m happy about,” said Superintendent Susan Wilkinson Davis.
For the active shooter training, those involved tried to make the scenario as realistic as possible. The “shooter” even barricaded the front doors, before essentially tagging a few students, letting them know they’ve been shot. Sheriff’s deputies then carried victims from the scene.
“We’ve always had in our minds that these drills need to happen,” said Lt. John Castañeda with Sandoval County Sheriff’s Office.
Multiple agencies, including San Ysidro police and New Mexico Game and Fish, responded to the mock active shooter call at Jemez Valley High School.
“The main course is to neutralize that threat,” said Lt. Castañeda.
Sandoval County Sheriff’s Office and the school district have been planning the drill for weeks, and the students expected it.
“The fire alarm ringing, the screaming in the halls…I’m sure a lot of people are pretty nervous right now,” said Superintendent Wilkinson Davis.
Wilkinson Davis says it’s a shame her students and staff need to worry about something of this magnitude, but she says she’d rather be safe than sorry.
“We will practice this kind of drill just like we do with the fire drills. Just like we have been for decades,” said Wilkinson Davis.
The drill lasted about an hour and a half. Authorities completed a full tactical response to end the shooting spree.
All weapons were surrendered prior to the drill. Instead, law enforcement officers were using fake guns.