Active Threat Plan


Ashley Gutierrez

If you have been a student in Pasco County for at least a year, you have participated in a lockdown drill. Most of us know how the procedures went, but if you are new to Pasco, here is a summary of what students and teachers were to do in past years: Students were to sit on the floor of a locked classroom and to be quiet. They were not to leave the room under any circumstance. Teachers were to cover the windows, turn off the lights, slide a safe sign under the door, and join the students on the floor. Phones were not to be used and we just waited for a face-to-face release.

Students seemed to never take this seriously, even though our lives could have been in danger. Being a student in Pasco for almost two years, I think I have a clear reason why students never followed the procedures. They didn’t seem reasonable. We are taught to use critical thinking skills when it comes to academics, but during these lockdowns, we were to sit quietly and defenseless, when we could have been doing things that could’ve saved our own lives, or the lives of others.

Pasco County changed our lockdown procedures over the summer, and they will be introduced this year. The three steps in this new procedure are Alert/Avoid, Barricade, and Counter. This will also be referred as the ABC’s. Alert simply means you will report any event/ person that may be dangerous to your school resource officer, or to a trusted adult. Avoid may mean to evacuate if it is safe to do so, or locking down in a safe place if you cannot get out safely. Barricade means you will block the doors starting with the biggest objects in the room, then adding smaller objects. These objects include storage shelves, desk, chairs, etc. Counter means to defend yourself. Students should do this by spreading out across the room and guarding their bodies with a desk or chair. If the attacker makes it into the room, students may even through objects and try to over power the attacker.

We asked students what they thought of the new procedures, and here is some of the feedback:

“I like it better because staying put isn’t a good idea some times.” – Miles Romo (6th)

“I think it’s a great idea. It gives everyone a chance to fight for themselves. I like how we don’t have to stay in the classroom if we don’t feel safe.” – Madison Barcia (11th)

“The new procedures seem good, but it’s still scary to be in that position.” – Riley Martin (8th)

“I feel that they are a lot, but safety is everything and that’s how every student should feel in school, safe.” – Eneida Hernandez (11th)