Cary-Grove High School`s `code red` drill involves firing blanks - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Cary-Grove High School`s `code red` drill involves firing blanks

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

On Wednesday morning, a far northwestern suburban high school will be holding a "code red" drill, simulating a school shooting, but the details are upsetting some parents.

Teachers and staff at Cary-Grove High School will secure their rooms, draw the shades, and lock the doors for the Wednesday drill. Cary police will then sweep the building, and someone will fire several blanks from a starter pistol in the hallway, as a part of the school's "code red" drill.

Many parents and students FOX 32 spoke with agree that in today's world, lockdown drills are necessary, especially with the recent school shootings that have occurred. But, the idea of firing blank ammunition isn't sitting well with some parents and students.

"I don't think it's necessary," Kelly Wright says about the drill. "I think they can hold a drill without doing that. I think there is going to be a lot of emotional trauma with the kids."

Student Megan Emma is a bit nervous because she doesn't know what is going to happen or how others will react to it, but says she feels safe, "because school is taking care of us."

Jeff Puma, a spokesman for school District 155, says school officials want to make students and teachers familiar with the sound of gunfire, even though different firearms make varying sounds.

"Kids are able to hear it and know what it might sound like so they can react more quickly if a situation like that were to arise," Puma explains.

Puma says the school has received many phone calls from parents since they were notified about the simulation via email. About half of the calls came from worried parents, but many also have the Newtown shooting on their minds and welcome the school's pro-activeness.

"It's a reality, and quite frankly, good for our school is taking care of our children," Joynce Koch says. "It's better to be safe than sorry."

"I think it's good for all of us to know what it sounds like," Freshman Becky Koch says. "If it happens, and we're in a situation, we know what to do and how to react."

"We're doing this so we can get a little bit of an insight we might not be able to get without simulating a lockdown drill," Puma says

Last year, Crystal Lake High School conducted a similar drill with the firing of blanks. The simulation at Cary-Grove High School will take place around 9 o'clock Wednesday morning. School officials say the drill had planned since last fall, before the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown.

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