“Run, Hide, Defend”

School security protocols in place to maintain readiness and student safety


Halle Packard

Recent threats to campuses in Virginia makes it more crucial than ever for students to understand intruder protocols.

With the recent threats to campuses in Virginia Beach, school safety is once again at the forefront of discussion. 

From the evening news to the high school hallways, it is more important than ever for students to be aware of intruder protocols. 

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, in 2019, it was reported that about five percent of students aged 12-18 are more afraid of an attack occurring at school versus outside of school. 

Campus security at Ocean Lakes takes the risk seriously.

“The school has security in all different positions in the building, including cameras which are also monitored at all times,” said security official Jay Seacrist.

Security has also been better trained and has become more qualified throughout the school system.

According to the Virginia Beach City Public Schools website, an “internal lock-down” is defined as a condition where “all students and staff are confined behind locked doors and are quiet and out of sight.”

“The safest place is in a classroom, behind locked doors, listening to teacher instruction,” said Seacrist. 

According to Chris Heidt, a new art teacher, students should crowd in the back of the room away from any windows or doors, with windows on doors covered to minimize the intruder’s vision into the classroom. Heidt also mentioned a recently added protocol to keep window blinds open for sharpshooters if the intruder does find a way into the classroom. 

“I feel that the intruder drill is most effective at our school because we know what to do and where to hide so the intruder can’t see us,” said sophomore Reiko Acosta. 

Not all procedures are new with a majority of students knowing some of the older protocols due to the familiar lockdown drills. However, what isn’t widely known, is what to do if you are unable to make it to a classroom in time.

Past protocols say to go to the nearest bathroom if possible, but that might not be the best option.

“[Students] need to try and find an opening [into a classroom],” said Seacrist.

Regardless of the situation, school security has assured us that no student will be left to fend for themselves. 

“It depends on the type of intruder, but the whole police department will come. Student resource Officer [Zachary] Kubera and school security will also respond,” said Seacrist.

Though the chances of an intruder getting past the school’s safety protocols are unlikely, it is still necessary for students to understand the potential threat. 

Officer Kubera mentioned that wherever a student can’t be seen is the safest place to stay.

“If you see something, say something,” said Kubera.