Safety drills without students
2 drills conducted while most students weren’t at school
By Peter Atkins
During a double-enrichment week, March 9, while in a late start, Perrysburg High School had drills for tornado and lock downs, but most of the students weren’t in school.
When asked why PHS ran both a tornado and a lock-down drill without the majority of the students in attendance, Dave Boyce, assistant principal of PHS who is charge of the drills, said “We were pressed for time, and we needed to complete the drills before the state deadline.”
Most of the students at the school were freshmen taking tests.
“There was a lock down and tornado drill,” said Trudy Nagy, the PHS librarian who was watching freshman in the media center as they were completing their PARCC tests, the new state required tests for graduation.
“They were back to back,” Ms. Nagy said about how far apart the two drills were. “They announced the lock down, and told the teachers to stay in place.”
Then immediately following the lock down, a tornado drill was announced, according to Ms. Nagy.
“I gathered up the kids for the tornado drill,” she said. “But before all the students were gathered in the room, it was called off.”
In the media center, during a tornado, all students would be required to enter a room toward the entrance of the library. Ms. Nagy said the drill was less than five minutes.
What’s interesting about the timing of these two drills is the majority of the students were not at school. Another smaller amount of students were in the Commons waiting for school to start.
As to why the school was pressed for time, Mr. Boyce added “Because of the snow and delay days, we did not want to interrupt school anymore.”
Though both drills were conducted with good reason, is it a loophole to run during the testing period?
According to neofpa.org or the North Eastern Ohio Fire Prevention Association, tornado drills are required once a month during tornado season (April 1-July 31), while school is in session. Safety drills are required three times a year. School technically was in session during the testing period, so it does comply with the Ohio state law, but what about the majority of the students not at school during the drills?
“More drills will be run with the rest of the student body,” Mr. Boyce said, solving the problem of the drills being run without the majority of PHS.