Sounds of gunshots ring out as students perform active shooter drill

We want this to become as close to reality as possible, principal says


(GMG) – "This is just a drill," an Alaska high school principal announced after the sound of gunshots rang out through the school earlier this month.

Many schools across the country are conducting active shooter drills following the deadly shooting in Parkland, Florida, but East High School took it one step further by having the school's resource officer fire what sounded like gunshots, but were actually blanks, in the hallway.

According to KTVA-TV in Anchorage, Alaska, students in the area where the "shooter" was active stayed put and barricaded themselves in classrooms. They piled chairs, tables and desks against the door as the rest of the students in the school evacuated.

As the "shooter" walked the halls, Principal Sam Spinella announced over the intercom, "The shooter is a middle-aged, dark male with black hair, wearing a Carhartt jacket."

As the drill was being conducted, Assistant Principal Josh Green walked through the halls to see how students in the classrooms were reacting, but he said, in a real incident, he would be looking over security cameras to spot the shooter and alert the rest of the staff.

“So many times, you read about these active shooter situations where they hear a gun going off like that and they think it's something different,” Green said. “You're programmed to think, ‘I'm safe all the time,’ right? So when you hear something like that, you think, 'I've got to take some action on this.'”

School officials said the drill showed them where they need to make improvements.

“We don’t want to scare them," Spinella said. "We want this to become as close to reality as possible."

Green told KTVA the drill at the school had been planned for weeks and that it was not in response to the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

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