Lockdowns help keep our students safe

School lockdowns are a scary thing. Especially when so much is unknown while the investigation is ongoing. Parents are worried, school staff is worried and students are worried.

Even if a lockdown turns out to be an unnecessary act — as it was, thankfully, Wednesday, Jan. 30 when Janesville School was on lockdown — you can never really be too safe.

Early in the morning, at 7:46 a.m., Wednesday, Janesville School staff alerted the Lassen County Sheriff’s dispatch of a man walking past the school who appeared to be carrying two rifles.

Thankfully, investigating deputies discovered it was a large piece of scrap metal. The man was stopped, interviewed and released, according to a statement from the sheriff’s office.

But you never know. And sometimes a lockdown, though it may be frustrating and kinks still need to be worked out, is just the safest call to help protect Lassen County’s students.

Next week is the one year anniversary of the deadly Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Parkland, Florida, which left 17 people dead.

A school shooting is a terrible thing; basically everyone can agree we don’t want here in Lassen County. And these lockdown drills and the act of going into a lockdown, no matter how trivial it might seem after the fact, could be what saves a child.

Lockdowns and active shooter drills, where students shelter in place to thwart an impending attack, work.

According to an article from the Chico Enterprise Record, which recounted a November 2017 shooting at the Rancho Tehama Reserve campus in rural Northern California where five people were killed, a quick action by staff helped save the lives of children as they issued a lockdown, keeping the students behind closed and locked doors.

Quick actions by staff are what can help keep kids safe, whether it’s an errant driver escaping law enforcement and ending up on the high school grounds, a vague threat from a disgruntled former employee or even a nation-wide hoax threat sent to schools.

There are still improvements that need to be made to lockdowns, and with every one new weaknesses are identified, which is a good thing as they can be fixed.

Lockdowns and drills are a positive thing that keeps the future safe.