Letter to the Editor: Improvements for Run, Hide, Defend

Hello Ms. Nurnberg, Mr. Giglio, Ms, Amezquita, and Mr. Schmidt,

First of all, I would like to thank you for quickly notifying us about the code red. I really thank the staff and teachers from the bottom of my heart for taking care of us and ensuring that we are safe while trying to reassure us.

While I appreciate the quick resolution to the problem, I do see some areas of improvement in our current system.

To begin with, almost 1/3 of my 6th period was empty because they had to quickly leave campus. Because running off campus is a viable option for many students, I believe that the school can coordinate with nearby businesses and stores, such as 7-11 and CVS, in order to teach students about lockdown procedures in an educational short video, detailing where to hide in these stores and how to ensure that no one can enter the stores.

Another possible bug would be that each classroom has different layouts. Certainly, many teachers do go thoroughly over procedures in order to block the exits and cover the windows, but each classroom has different desks. For example, my science class has long black tables that snap backward and can easily act as tall barriers if one crouches down, whereas my literature class has individual desks that must be flipped over in order to effectively cover exits. Although this may seem time, space, and “paper” consuming, I do believe that posters in each classroom showing instructions and images on how to cover the exits would be very helpful.

Lastly, some students off campus did not know that the lockdown was in effect until their friends told them 10 minutes after the code red bell rang. I do see a potential solution to this problem and would be willing to work with you. I would love to work with the programmers in this school to design a mandatory app for all HHS students, in which the principal (or any staff member that informs there is a code red) can input a message such as “Code Red Lockdown in effect”, and this, in turn, will produce a sound similar to the code red bell in the students’ phones, allowing people even off campus to be notified of the incidents.

On the other hand, I would like to take this time to thank you for ensuring our safety and would hope to see some of these changes implemented for improving school safety procedures.

Sincerely, Aarushi Banerjee (12th grade)