Suring School’s active shooter drill deemed a success

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The Suring School District held something more ominous than an old-fashioned fire drill Thursday, evacuating the entire school complex to practice for the threat of an active shooter on the premises.

The exercise started at 1:30 p.m. Principal Pamela Berg said that within 4 minutes every student in the building was accounted for at the secure rally point locations, and within 7 1/2 minutes the first group of students was loading a bus, in preparation of moving students to a second secure location farther from the school.

After the exercise, a debriefing was held at the school involving students, while the exercise team leaders met to hear what controllers had observed.

Superintendent Kelly Casper said Suring was the first school in Oconto County and one of the few schools in the state to take safety measures like this.

“What took place today was amazing,” Casper said. “Everyone did their job, from the students to the staff. Thank you for taking pride in what we do and making this a safe and great place for students.”

Berg said the practice drill was the culmination of almost two years of work, education and planning.

“As a district, we are hopeful that training our students to be prepared and ready to react in an emergency situation will not only help them in our building, but wherever they may encounter danger,” she said. “While none of us want to think like this, the more prepared we are the greater our chance of keeping everyone safe if the unspeakable should happen in our quiet little village.”

The drill followed a preparation protocol known as ALICE – Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, Evacuate. A similar exercise on a greater scale is scheduled for April 19 at the Oconto County Courthouse.