DENVER (CBS4) – Denver Public Schools spent the summer making significant security upgrades which includes how schools perform lock down drills. Some students expressed concern the new drills could be stressful, but they also know safety is a top priority.
“I noticed a new little latch or something on the door and it gave me some peace of mind,” said Vikki Goldberg, a mother of a student at East High.
She says she’s happy with the upgrades at a time when school shootings are far too common.
“It feels somewhat unsettling that it’s a reality of our world,” she said.
Her daughter, Esther, says she worries what would happen if an armed person were on campus.
“It’s just scary to think that could happen to any of us at any time,” she said.
That prompted the school district to decide to conduct unannounced lock downs at every school for emergencies like an active shooter. The drills will start in the fall semester.
“The unannounced aspect of that could potentially be stressful for students, but it’s good that they’re making them sort of out of the blue so that the students and teachers can be prepared for that sort of situation,” Esther said.
District officials say the goal is to minimize panic during a real threat. Safety experts will watch each exercise and will later debrief school staff about what went well and what needs improvement.
“There’s always the potential of that happening to us, but I am confident that it won’t and that if it does then we have those systems to protect us,” Esther said.
There is also a new text communication system which DPS is encouraging parents to join.