GULFPORT, Miss. (WLOX) - A Gulfport school is making sure students are prepared for the unthinkable.
Bayou View Middle School conducted an intruder alert drill Friday morning to train students and staff on what to do in an emergency situation.
The drill put into practice ADD - Avoid, Deny, Defend.
Principal Bill Greb said the goal is making sure everyone knows how to appropriately respond to danger.
“We used to say we’re going to hunker down, we’re going to lock the door, barricade it and hide in a corner. We’ve learned that that’s not the safest thing to do. If it’s possible, get out of the building," he said.
The drill lasted only a few minutes but taught students a valuable lesson.
“You have to always be prepared, as our teacher was talking about, something as an example that could happen, and you have to be prepared for anything," said student Josephine Greb.
Classes debriefed after the drill about what was done well and what could be done better.
“Students are going to have a lot of questions. And that’s another part of this drill to generate those questions. We don’t know all the answers. The police don’t know all the answers. We’re learning from this. It’s the reason why we do the drill, so that we can learn from it," Greb said.
The drill is not only a chance to prepare, but Gulfport police said it’s also about starting a conversation to prevent these types of situations.
“It’s a dialogue. It’s having that relationship, where if they see a child demonstrating a behavior or something that’s concerning to them, they reach out to an SRO, they reach out to the staff, they reach out to the principal, they’re not afraid to have that conversation," said Lt. Joshua Bromen with the Gulfport Police Department.
School districts in the state are required by law to conduct drills like this under the Mississippi School Safety Act.