Two North Platte schools were placed on lockout this morning as law enforcement searched for a woman wanted on warrants.
According to Investigator John Deal, Lincoln Elementary School and Madison Middle School were placed on lockout, which is different from a lockdown, at around 11:15 this morning.
The measure was taken because an officer had placed two local children in protective custody, and the mother, who was wanted on warrants, was being sought by police.
The woman had reportedly told police that she was going to get her children from school, and officers felt the two schools should be placed on lockout to ensure the woman could not contact her children.
Deal says there was never a threat to any students and, at 12:00 p.m., school officials were notified they could resume business as usual after the woman was contacted and placed under arrest. Deal said she did not attempt to approach either of the schools.
School officials contacted parents via email to notify them that the lockout had occurred and ensure them that their students were safe and the learning process was uninterrupted.
LOCKOUT VS. LOCKDOWN
The differentiation between Lockout and Lockdown is a critical element in School Resource Policing.
A Lockout recovers all students from outside the building, secures the building perimeter and locks all outside doors. This would be implemented when there is a threat or hazard outside of the building. Criminal activity, dangerous events in the community, or even a vicious dog on the playground would be examples of a Lockout response. While the Lockout response encourages greater staff situational awareness, it allows for educational practices to continue with little classroom interruption or distraction.
Lockdown is a classroom-based protocol that requires locking the classroom door, turning off the lights and placing students out of sight of any corridor windows. Student action during Lockdown is to remain quiet. It does not mandate locking outside doors. There are several reasons for not locking perimeter doors during a Lockdown. The risk is increased to students or staff in exposed areas attempting to lock outside doors. Locking outside doors inhibits entry of first responders and increases risk as responders attempt to breach doors.