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Rise in school shootings prompts local high school to update protocol

Written by on May 1, 2023

NORMAL, Ill. – School shootings reached all-time highs in March, and many schools have adjusted to protect all students and staff in order to provide better protections and procedures for their students.

University High School’s Assistant Principal, Michael Shanley, explained what protocol his school runs through to keep everyone safe.

“University High School has always done active shooter training with students,” said Shanley. “We’ve been doing this for the last ten years. So, we use the run, hide, fight model. We do an exercise at the beginning of our school year where we go through scenarios and talk about different approaches and reactions we would have to certain situations.”

While informing students about new procedures is important, physical security measures are also essential to the safety of everyone in the building.

“All the entrances to the building are locked, and you have to have an ID for electronic access to the school,” said Shanley. “We definitely go over security measures at the beginning of the year in order to do certain things in case something was going on. We do have electronic door alarms, so if a door is opened and isn’t closed within a certain number of seconds, we get notified at the main office. ISU police does regular walk-throughs through the school and support us with anything going on.”

Shanley is aware of the circumstances that his school and schools across the nation are under with the constant shootings occurring. Therefore, encouraging all his students to communicate their concerns is one of his top priorities.

“We really take it very seriously,” said Shanley. “We really make them aware that they are huge part of bringing any concerns to us. We use an app called Safe2SpeakUp that the students can use and send anonymous reports if a student is making threats or something is unsafe around the school. We understand they’re the ones who know things and not being afraid to speak up is our biggest push with them.”