Playing it safe: Nevada Union High School holds Safety Week
Last week Nevada Union High School held Safety Week, an event that educates students and staff on how to be prepared in the event of an emergency.
“What happens is we train all the staff on how to respond to all the drills and they go through a refresher course,” said Nevada Union Assistant principal Luke Browning. “Basically, everything from earthquake and fire drills to an intruder on campus. The staff is trained on all of those drills, then we train the students. Then we practice.”
Browning added that teachers had received a refresher course even before safety week.
Safety Week found the school holding parking lot safety exercises, training on the different bell tones used to indicate emergencies, practicing barricading classrooms and watching a video instructing them on what to do in the event of an intruder or active shooter on campus.
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The school will be conducting future drills throughout the year and will commit time in the spring for a refresher. The drills, Browning said, will be administered both randomly and on schedule.
According to Browning, the drills and training held during Safety Week have left the students feeling more comfortable, and have given them the chance to talk about their fears while gaining skills meant to keep them and fellow students safe.
“‘Comfort’ is a good word because in the past, we trained teachers and staff and expected kids to just follow directions,” said Browning. “But the reality is we are way outnumbered. They need to be empowered. I have heard nothing but good feedback in terms of they feel like, yeah, we got this.”
Parents, too, are becoming involved. After the Nevada Union Parents Club expressed interest in being trained as the kids have been, Browning and his staff committed to including them in future training.
Additionally, a number of Nevada Union students are members of the school’s Community Emergency Response Team, a grant-funded program where students are trained to know how to respond to emergencies and are put through a 20-hour training course. This year also introduces an advanced emergency response team that helps staff run through drills and facilitate training procedures.
“Our schools are safe,” Browning said. “Safety is our number one priority as a district, and because of that we are going to train from the bottom to the top so we are prepared in the event something does occur.”
Jennifer Nobles is a staff writer for The Union. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 530-477-4231.
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