The Emails Sent to Cary-Grove High School Parents regarding Code Red Exercise

Here is the original District 155 email:

INITIAL EMAIL:

Dear parents:

At Cary-Grove and across District 155, we make your child’s safety our number one priority each day.

As a parent, I can assure you that we understand our responsibility to return your child safely at the end of each day.

While we take many preventative steps to keep our building secure, we also practice our response should a crisis arise.

Some examples include

  • meetings with first responders,
  • a comprehensive crisis response plan, and
  • simulations.

We are planning a code red simulation on Wednesday, January 30.  We feel it is important to explain the simulation to you in advance so that you and your child might be able to better understand what will take place on Wednesday.

A lockdown was held in October, 2011.

A Code Yellow ockdown was held in October, 2011.

The simulation will take approximately 15-20 minutes, during which time teachers will secure their rooms, draw curtains, and keep their students from traveling throughout the building.  Please note that we will be firing blanks in the hallway in an effort to provide our teachers and students some familiarity with the sound of gunfire.

Our school resource officer and other members of the Cary Police Department will assist us in sweeping the building to ensure that all students are in a secure location during the drill.

At the conclusion of the drill, we will take some time to process what occurred and then we will return to our normal classroom routine.

I encourage you to discuss the drill with your student both before it happens and after.

These drills help our students and staff to be prepared should a crisis occur, but it may cause some students to have an emotional reaction.

In those cases, your voice may provide reassurances of the drill’s importance.

Additionally, we have trained social workers on staff who can speak directly with your child should he or she need added support.

Should you have any questions, please contact me or any member of the Cary-Grove’s administrative team.  Together, we can keep our school a safe place for your child to learn and grow.

Sincerely,

Jay Sargeant, Principal

FOLLOW-UP EMAIL

Dear Parents,

In response to the small number of concerns we have received about the upcoming Code Red Lockdown practice, I want to clarify some of the details that may not have been clear in my initial email.

Complete information about the drill is available on the Cary-Grove website.

It is important to understand that the drill will start with an announcement over the public address system.

At which time, the teachers will direct the students to their designated safe areas and follow our building protocols.

Administration and law enforcement personnel will be in the hallways to monitor the process.

Once everyone is secure, I will again use the PA system to announce that blanks will be fired by our Student Resource Officer, a member of the Cary Police Department.

We will repeat this twice during the lockdown from two different areas in the building.

After which time, I will use the PA to end the drill.

Following the drill, a discussion will ensue between the students and their classroom teacher.

We will utilize this feedback as a building and police department to assess our security and make any necessary adjustments to our building plan.

Our sole purpose for utilizing the blanks is to fully prepare our students and staff.

Please understand that Cary-Grove High School does not plan safety drills in a vacuum.

Instead, we rely on the expertise of first-responders in order to provide the best training possible to keep our students and staff safe should an actual crisis situation arise.

While we hope that no school will ever hear the sound of gunfire in the future, Cary-Grove High School and the Cary Police want our building to be able to react as quickly as possible in the event that an actual emergency occurs.

As always, our goal is the safety and security of your students while they are here at Cary-Grove High School.  If you should have further questions or concerns about our drill with the Cary Police Department, please do not hesitate to contact one of the administrators in our building.

Respectfully,

Jay Sargeant, Principal
Cary-Grove High School


Comments

The Emails Sent to Cary-Grove High School Parents regarding Code Red Exercise — 14 Comments

  1. This is completely irresponsible. Frankly, this is stupid.

    As someone who served for 20 years in the US Military attending both enlisted and officer boot camps, with four major combat tours in Iraq and Afghanistan:

    This is wrong. This is not how you expose people to weapons, specifically, gunfire.

    I am not sure who thought of the idea to fire blanks in the school, but the first time someone should hear a gunshot or gunfire is in a controlled situation on a gun range.

    This exercise will only raise the anxiety of those student who have never been exposed to this environment.

    I am at a complete loss of word for what the hell Cary Grove is doing.

    If you really want to educate our kids on gun safety, the sound of gun fire, and how to handle fire arms; I suggest you plan multiple field trips to On Target in Crystal Lake.

    This is just plain stupid.

    Andrew Gasser, Capt, USAF (Ret)
    Algonquin Township Precinct 4 Committeeman

  2. In other schools, they have a class on Hunting Safety in High Schools with the help of the police dept.

    I agree with Andrew, teach the children about gun safety!

  3. Insane.

    Perhaps they should use REAL bullets to make it more authentic?

    Whoever authored this idea should be fired.

  4. Plan sounds very reasonable to me, my children have been around shotguns and rifles, but not handguns….in some of the tragedies that have occured in our country, people always say they thought they were hearing firecrackers, the demonstration will be useful, not only for what might happen in a school setting, but elsewhere also.

  5. We’ve seen it happen before- kids shoot up a school, a teacher hears the noise and goes out into the hall to investigate.

    A gunshot in the halls of CG will sound very different than out on the range.

    Besides didn’t you all just tell us that more guns in school is the only way to keep kids safe?

  6. Where is the problem with this Andrew?

    They are blanks!!

    The crazies on the right wing have ruined the republican party and will make the party irelevant.

    Keep worrying about issues such as abortion, who someone gets married, to and if someone smokes weed.

    All things that have ZERO impact on your life.

    Worry about financial issues that impact all of us and maybe the republican party can survive

  7. No one is saying that shots in the halls of CG will sound the same as the range. What people will tell you, who actually own and use firearms will tell you, is that you introduce them in a classroom environment.

    You then hit the range – and then you can do real world simulations.

    This is typical liberalism at its finest. People who have no real world experience or training making decisions that impact people’s lives.

    There is a reason Illinois is last in everything… including common sense.

  8. Fire (blank) shots in the school, then return to the regular business of the day?

    If you’re going to go through that effort and process the event, you might as well being in a nut-job to run around holding the gun, you know, to make it as realistic as possible.

    And once that is done, put an NRA rep on television monitors to jump up and down and shout (a la Kevin Bacon) that all is well!

    Now that would be as realistic as it gets.

    Otherwise, just keep the guns out of the darned schools.

  9. Every mass shooting in recent history has involved a training drill going on in close proximity to the live shooter site.

    Pre-positioned federals (FBI, ATF, DHS).

    And by some miracle, all of a sudden this scenario they are training for in the drill happens to go live in a very similar live setting with many deaths occurring.

    Google it, it’s a FACT.

    I don’t want to speculate about the dark implications of all of these unbelievable coincidences occurring during drills, but given the pattern that’s emerging, people should avoid drill sites and surrounding areas like the plague if they know one is happening.

    This isn’t about teaching safety, it’s about conditioning our kids to accept military presence.

    Packaged in the seemingly innocent and comforting language of “for the good of the children.

    Parents of Cary should keep their kids out of that school tomorrow.

  10. Sorry to rain on your parade here guys, but I go to school there and if I were concerned with my safety I would probably just stay home.

    It’s really okay, I know its not all about the students but damn were not getting shot at. Oh and Watching, was that sarcasm I detected there?

    It was hard to tell beneath the reasonable statement you made.

    I mean sure, is it un247@

    usual, uncommon, maybe even drastic?

    I guess so but that is how you get stuff done in America by stepping out of the box and trying something new, its safety in mind here, were not shooting students or making a point, it is just safety.

    I’m not gonna yell at you for barracading your windows in the event of a tornado, so calm down.

  11. (EDITED) Sorry to rain on your parade here guys, but I go to school there and if I were concerned with my safety I would probably just stay home.

    It’s really okay, I know its not all about the students but dang were not getting shot at.

    Oh and beentheredonethat, was that sarcasm I detected there?

    It was hard to tell beneath the reasonable statement you made.

    I mean sure, is it unusual, uncommon, maybe even drastic?

    I guess so but that is how you get stuff done in America by stepping out of the box and trying something new, its safety in mind here, were not shooting students or making a point, it is just safety.

    I’m not gonna yell at you for barracading your windows in the event of a tornado, so calm down.

  12. Andrew Gasser is exactly right. Thanks, Andrew.

    The Code Red drill was not about hearing the sound of gun shots (starter pistol) in the school. It was not about gun safety. It was apparently a drill about herding the sheep into a corner. Let’s say it hadn’t been a drill. The kids huddle in a corner; a gunman blows the lock off the door, and there are all the targets, all in one spot right in the corner. Dumb. Just plain stupid.

    I’m sure Chief Casstevens is a nice guy. When this harebrained idea surfaced, wherever it did, he should have been the first to say, “WTH!” and to tell them “No way”.

    Drill or not, wasn’t it illegal (maybe even a felony) to have that starter pistol in the school?

  13. Gus and Andrew share the “There’s no way to win this one” award.

    I guess had the School not done ANY drill, these two would be front and center calling staff and the Cary Police out for lack of any training.

    Gus, you’re proving why you only received 5% of the popular vote for Sheriff–you have no clue.

    Andrew, from what I read this was a controlled environment, the school was locked down, advance warning was given–I think arranging a High School to a target range is exceedingly stupid-let’s discuss costs, travel, supervision, etc.

    Bottom line you two seem to miss, badly, is that schools use starter pistols for track meets, swimming meets, etc. so any insinuation that this was a felonious action is way off base and laughable.

    As for Chief Casstevens, I don’t think his Department call the shots (pardon the pun) on a School exercise, although they did clearly provide presence and some post-action dissection.

    This is a whole lot about nothing. I commend Mr Sargeant for thinking outside the box and trying to create a drill that was a realistic as possible, in the restrictive confines of a school setting.

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