February 8, 2013

Issues arise over students' role in Maine shooter drill

By David Hench dhench@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

(Continued from page 1)

Shannon Welsh, superintendent for RSU 5 in Freeport, Durham and Pownal, said the school has conducted a lockdown drill for the high school and is planning one for the middle school.

"Our district is looking at a very balanced approach," she said. "We recognize the very safety and security of the kids is of the utmost importance. You also want an environment where kids are comfortable and welcome and families feel welcome," she said.

Welsh said she is aware that some parents want more safety drills for younger students, and others want fewer.

"You want it to become similar to a fire drill in that their response would be automatic," Welsh said. "I liken it to hiding under my desk as a little kid from nuclear warheads. There was no fear involved, just the drill."

Gurrola, the mental health expert, said children can adapt.

"The reality is every child needs to be prepared," she said. "It's what language you use and how you teach the kids the skills you want."

"We used to fly in this country before Sept. 11 without going through security. That event changed every single American life," she said. "Unfortunately, these school shootings are changing the lives of the students in every school in the nation."


Staff Writer David Hench can be contacted at 791-6327 or at:



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