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Stephanie Raper
In the Loop Editor

GSD Safety Procedures

Last week Grenada experienced a disturbing event as law enforcement tracked a fugitive in our town.  This incident hit home with many Grenada School District parents when they realized that schools had been placed on lockdown.   Protective instincts kick in when parents realize their children might be in danger.

The Grenada School District recognizes this instinct and understands parents’ needs to keep their children safe. The District is dedicated to ensuring a safe environment for our students and employees.  The planning process for these types of occurrences is extensive and requires serious logistical maneuvering due to the large number of students at each school within the District. The District has in place a Crisis Response Plan that is reviewed and revised annually.  Administrators and staff are trained annually with the appropriate response to a crisis situation.

GSD has adopted the policies recommended by the Mississippi Department of Education.  These policies as well as individual school crisis plans are in place.  Bad weather, fire, and dangerous situations have all been planned for by the Grenada School District.  This procedural information is available in student and faculty handbooks, on the website, and in the District’s Crisis Management Plan.

Each year teachers go over the emergency procedures in the student handbook with their new classes.  Students learn where to meet in case of a fire, and where to go in case of a tornado.  Earthquakes are also covered, but thank goodness we haven’t experienced one of those here yet!  Faculty and staff want all students to be familiar with these procedures so they can react quickly if an emergency occurs.

Last week’s fugitive situation allowed the district to test its lockdown procedure.  The lockdown policy allows schools to hold students in place if an outside danger or threat to the school is posed.  During lockdown, students and staff remain in the classrooms with no movement in the halls or outside of the building.  No one is allowed into the building during a lockdown, and no one is allowed to leave.  This policy permits GSD to monitor hallways and outer areas of the building via security personnel and cameras.  Since students and staff are tucked safely away in the classrooms, any unknown persons wandering around campus can be spotted easily.

Last week’s school lockdown began at Grenada Elementary and Upper Elementary then was initiated at GHS and GMS.  Each school was placed in the lockdown situation as reports of the fugitive’s movements came in from law enforcement.  Fortunately, the suspect in question did not surface at any of the schools, and students were released at their regular time.

Grenada School District would like to assure parents and family members that the safety of our students is a top priority.  Each policy and procedure has been planned using every scenario imaginable.  If you have any questions regarding the emergency policies and procedures in place at the Grenada School District, contact the principal at your child’s school or a representative from GSD Central Office.