Groom school goes on lockdown

Katelin Weller

A t 3:15 p.m., Groom students and faculty heard the “safe” signal released over the building-wide intercom after having spent most of the last period of the school day in a state of “lockdown” on Wednesday, Nov. 7. At approximately 2:40 p.m., GISD administrators ordered the school into a state of lock-down, which means all students stay in safe locations in the school with all doors locked until a “safe” sign is given. Reports to school officials of a woman on Broadway street waving a gun initiated the action. The lockdown stayed in effect until the school’s administrators, Superintendent Jay Lamb and Principal Matt Johnson, heard from officials on scene that the incident had been resolved. Prior to the all-clear news, students, who had no idea what initiated the lockdown decision, heard the following announcement at approximately 3 p.m. from Principal Matt Johnson: “Teachers, no one under any circumstances may leave the building when the bell rings.” School Secretary Frances Payton, who had announced the first lockdown call, also was the one to announce that the “lockdown was over” and that the students and staff could resume following normal protocols. Here is the current written “Campus Lockdown Procedure” policy of Groom ISD: ” In the event that a campus experiences a threat of violence in or around the campus grounds, making a campus lockdown necessary, the following procedure will be observed: 1. Only authorized GISD personnel and emergency personnel, identifed in the crisis management plan, are allowed on campus. 2. No student will be dismissed until it is deemed safe by authorized GISD officials. 3. Superintendent, or designee, will announce door to door. 4. Each teacher shall secure students into the classroom locking ALL doors and windows. 5. Notify administrator/designee of any students not in the classroom. 6. Students will gather in the most protected area of classroom with the lights out. 7. Quiet is extremely important. 8. Teachers and students will remain in locked classrooms until notified by administrator/designee, code word, that it is safe and/or necessary to leave the classroom. 9. If evacuation of classrooms or building is necessary … use fire drill procedure unless otherwise instructed.