Emergency Preparedness /Lockdown drills
The school district has worked with the Coquitlam RCMP and Port Moody police to put in place standard practices for schools to follow in cases where student safety may be at risk. We already have cohesive plans in place in the event of a fire or earthquake and this is now one more area where we can prepare in order to ensure student safety at school.
There are two types of lockdowns identified as CODE YELLOW and CODE RED. A CODE YELLOW LOCKDOWN is used when there is no immediate, active, on-going threat to students or staff. This may occur if there is a police incident nearby, wild animal or other threat in the community. During a CODE YELLOW lockdown the teachers will secure classroom, close windows and blinds, lock the door, and take and submit attendance. A CODE RED lockdown is used if there is an immediate, active, on-going threat to students or staff. During a CODE RED lockdown, teachers would check hallways for students. Once students are in the classroom the teachers would secure and barricade doors, turn out lights, cover the windows, and move students out of the line of sight of doors and windows.
Gleneagle Secondary in conjunction with the Coquitlam RCMP and school district personal will be practicing a CODE RED lockdown on Wednesday February 13th. This drill will happen sometime during our morning classes. RCMP officers will be at the school during the drill and will be debriefing staff and students after the drill in an assembly. During the drill the school will be completely lockdown and no access will be possible during this drill. This drill is not meant to cause any undue stress or alarm, it is an opportunity to have staff and the RCMP prepare so they can react in a calm and appropriate manner to ensure student safety. Gleneagle Secondary has already practiced a CODE YELLOW lockdown drill this year and will be having another one on March 1st. Please read the message below from our police liaison officer.
Why we practice school lock downs.
The Coquitlam RCMP is conducting several school lock down drills at various schools within the school district. The reasons for the lock down drills are simple. Easy access to weapons, social media and reduction of social services, has increased the risk of violent large scale incidents at our schools. Recent incidents in the USA have reinforced the need to practice these drills. Regardless of the remoteness of any such incidents occurring here, it remains a priority for the Coquitlam RCMP.
These drills have been developed after examining previous tragic incidents. While running away from a situation seems like the best course of action, the reality is it would likely result in more casualties, and cause mass confusion. It is important to treat each drill seriously.
Canada is not immune to these types of incidents. The 9th worst school shooting in world history occurred at Ecole Polytechnique in 1989. Since 1902 there has been 11 school shootings resulting in 31 deaths, and 54 injuries in Canadian schools.
Thank you for your cooperation
Cpl Patrick Mehain