Students Ordered to Get Down During Security Scan
Windham High School Administrators are apologizing to parents after students were told to 'get down' during a police walk-through.
The Portland Press Herald reports the purpose of the walk-through was to help local police familiarize themselves with the layout of the facility. But the intention went awry when one officer walked into the cafeteria and told a study group that it was a drill and to 'please get down.' Other officers heard about the incident and immediately informed students that there was no drill and that their study group should not have been interrupted. Now, parents are speaking out, alarmed that their teens were caused anxiety at a time when everyone is on edge about school shootings.
Superintendent of Regional School Unit 14, Sanford Prince, has responded in an email, saying the original plan was for a full-fledged drill. Those plans were canceled after snow days interrupted the academic plans for the week, but police agreed to do a simple walk-through of the school. Prince went on to say that, even if it had been a drill, the students would not have been given the order to 'get down.' He explained that it was an unfortunate product of a miscommunication and that the officers had apologized to the students.
He called the incident 'regrettable' and assured parents that it did not reflect the policies and procedures of the school. Going forward, Prince said, they would work with law enforcement to make sure nothing about future drills caused anxiety for the students.
Principal Chris Howell said the students handled the situation very well. Some were shaken up, especially given the fact that they had planned a walkout protesting school shootings and it was on their minds. But he said most students recognized it as a mistake in a procedure that's meant to keep them safe.