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Wednesday, May 4, 2016

School procedures worked as planned

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

The procedure is simple.

In case of an emergency, the administration is supposed to determine if a lockdown is needed and must notify law enforcement if needed.

Because of his experience with school safety, South Putnam High School Assistant Principal Dan Bain -- along with other South Putnam Community School Corp. administrators -- did just that on Monday.

SPCSC administrators locked the school down Monday after a bag containing an anonymous note among other items was found at a home in the school district.

The note in the package indicated a threat to teachers, but no teachers were named. In addition, the note did not indicate a threat to SPCSC teachers.

"We felt the threat was something we should take serious. And we did," Bain said. "Our lockdown was beautiful. The teachers responded well and the kids responded well."

Bain said when school administration determined a lockdown was needed, the corporation went into action. All SPCSC buildings have a locking system that worked and all classrooms were locked by teachers. Bain said the building doors automatically lock when a lockdown is implemented.

He said he then called local law enforcement and got an immediate response.

"(The police determined) to have officers at all exits," he said. "I think we were about five minutes late (in dismissal).

"I was really pleased with how the police responded. What makes me feel good is the response of our law enforcement."

Bain said the corporation will have police officials on campus today.

Despite the situation, Bain said SPCSC officials informed the students that they were going through a routine drill Monday, but added that most of the students became aware of the severity of the situation as it unfolded.

"They knew," Bain said, adding that administrators planned to explain the entire situation to students today.

Bain also stressed how communication helped the corporation and law enforcement handle the situation Monday, adding that the Safe School Committee proved its worth.

"The committee is the reason we can handle situations (like this)," he said.

This is Bain's first year with SPCSC. However, his experience with school safety made him an obvious choice to replace Kieth Puckett as school safety administrator when Puckett became high school principal.

Still, Bain said the situation on Monday made him aware of how much more work needs to be done.

"We had some snafus," he said. "There is a plan and there is a lockdown procedure. It's just my familiarity with it. It's a work in progress."

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