MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – One of the biggest questions when it comes to school shootings and threats is what students can do to protect themselves.
On Wednesday, Eastern Carver County Schools notified parents of a change in the district’s lock down practice. It now includes “lock down with options.”READ MORE: Police Search For The Stolen Valor Of Lakeville Vietnam Veteran
The options are hide, run and counter. On Thursday, a district leader explained the change and a parent shared some insight on why there’s support for it.
“The options are run if it is safe to run. Hide, if it is safest to hide. And if you have no other choice, you can counter the intruder to try to incapacitate that person,” Brett Johnson with East Carver County Schools said.
In a letter sent to parents, the district explained the current lock down practice has become obsolete, and responding to a crisis like a dangerous intruder might require more than just running and hiding.
“So it would mean anything from throwing things at the intruder, actually physically engaging with the intruder,” Johnson said. “It is the last option. If you have no exit, no place to flee, you need take that action. Now that is extremely rare.”
Brett Johnson is the director of communications for Eastern Carver Schools. He says about a year ago, the district learned about this updated lock down protocol. It’s one that other school districts across Minnesota and the nation are adopting.READ MORE: Minneapolis Police Seek Person Of Interest In Wednesday's Homicide
In the next week, teachers will be using a training video to explain “lock down with options” to students.
“I think it is way overdue. We should have done this years ago,” Parent Kendra Maus said.
Maus has a daughter who is a sophomore at Chanhassen High School. She’s also a teacher at Edina High School.
“To give them that knowledge, empower with that to be able to fight instead of hide, gives them more sense of security too,” Maus said.
“Schools are always in the position of responding to what is going on in the world. This is what is going on in the world and we are responding accordingly,” Johnson said.MORE NEWS: Vanin Dell McKinnon Faces Third Child Sexual Assault Case
The district says several national agencies recommend this more active approach to lock downs, including the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Education. They say these are age-appropriate measures, and they don’t expect young elementary school students to fight off intruders.