Appeal-Democrat Archive Writing

Y-S educators say safety plans in place

September 29, 2007

Yuba-Sutter school officials said they are ready for an incident similar to the one that happened at Las Plumas High School on Friday.

A 17-year-old student allegedly brought a gun to the Oroville campus and held students hostage in a band room until finally surrendering to police.

A safety plan is in place and is rehearsed at schools in the Yuba City Unified School District, said Dave Morrow, director of student welfare for the district. At least twice a year, schools rehearse the lockdown procedures.

An announcement is made over the intercom and students are required to sit at their desks while teachers lock the doors and draw the blinds, Morrow said.

“It’s become a regular part of the school year for us, unfortunately,” the district official said.

Superintendent Gay Todd said the Marysville Joint Unified School District has a similar plan in which each school has its own emergency plan that has been reviewed and approved by the school board.

The MJUSD’s plans have steadily been updated because of the shootings at Lindhurst High School in 1992, Todd said. In that incident, student Eric Houston took 80 students hostage at the school after a shooting rampage that left four people dead.

The Yuba County Witness Assistance Program will be staying open this weekend to help people deal with anxiety that could crop up in some of the students who were at Lindhurst at the time of the shootings and now have kids in school.

�Every time there is a shooting, we say the specter of Eric Houston is back,� said program coordinator Sandy Fonley. �Our students have felt particularly vulnerable.�

Residents are encouraged to call the program at 741-6275.

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