By: Sarah Snyder
MIDLAND - A brand new plan geared at keeping your kids safe while they're in the classroom is getting underway in Midland. While the school year may be winding down, campus police have been hard at work making sure teachers and students know exactly what to do when an emergency situation arises.
Campus police tell NewsWest 9, there's about five emergency cases each year that Midland schools have to be ready for. Up until now, Midland ISD campuses had their own individual safety plans and the district police chief tells NewsWest 9, that's just not consistent. So after a little tweaking, they put together a more unified system, and now they're making sure everyone's on board.
"There was a real need to develop a plan to put in place for what to do in the event that an active shooter came onto campus," Midland ISD Police Chief, David Colburn, said. "Columbine really brought this to the forefront."
Officials say, the new district-wide emergency response plan keeps the procedures simple and uniform.
"If a student changes schools or a teacher changes schools, the procedure and commands are always the same," Colburn said.
And the students and parents NewsWest 9 caught up with seem to think that's a good idea.
"Just in case, we don't go over the drill one day we will already know what to do because I knew it in 7th grade," Midland 7th Grader, Calina Tesillo, said.
"I like it," Midland Parent, Al Martinez, said. "I think it's a safer plan if everybody could get on the same page, it will work better."
Over the past several months, teachers, students, substitutes and staff members have been drilling over each scenario. District police have developed plans for keeping kids inside when there is a neighborhood threat like a robbery or shooting. They have a separate plan when the campus is directly threatened along with fire, severe weather, and bus evacuations.
"When they hear a lockdown or shelter in place, they know exactly what to do," Chief Colburn said. "We put a flip chart in every classroom along with performing drills to familiarize not only staff and students but local law enforcement who may be called in to respond."
NewsWest 9 also learned about the Ector County district plan. If there's an outside emergency that could impact a campus, teachers make sure everyone is indoors. School officials say they also have a plan in case there's a direct threat to the campus. Both districts tell NewsWest 9, they have regular drills to make sure everyone knows exactly what to do.