It was only a drill. But it was also an important exercise in the event of a threat to peace in school classrooms.
About 9:45 a.m. Thursday, Shelter Island School students heard an announcement of a lockdown, meaning they were to follow teachers’ instructions about where to go and how to behave in the event of any real threat to their safety.
For a group of junior and senior boys engaged in self defense training in the school gymnasium, they were quickly ushered into a locked room where they wouldn’t be seen or heard. Physical education teacher Brian Becker alerted them to sit down and remain silent during the approximate five minute lockdown.
Mr. Becker locked the door to ensure no intruder could enter the room. If the boys were a bit wound up from their preliminary exercises in the self defense session, they rapidly settled down and followed instructions.
Shelter Island Police coordinated the lockdown drill and while faculty members knew it would happen Thursday, they weren’t alerted to the timing.
“All systems worked well and everything went according to the standard operating procedure,” Superintendent Leonard Skuggevik said.
“With each drill we debrief after and discuss ways in which we might improve,” he said.
He didn’t want to spell out specifics because that could compromise plans should a real lockdown ever be needed.