• Lockdown drills not required for some central Fla. schools


    ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. - WFTV learned Monday that some central Florida schools aren't required to do lockdown drills to prepare students and teachers for situations like a gunman on campus.

    Not one of the 184 schools in the Orange County School District is required to have a lockdown drill for its students, Channel 9's Kathi Belich learned.

    The choice is completely up to principals as to if or how often they teach the children what to do during a lockdown should a gunman come on campus.

    On Friday afternoon, a wandering gunman in East Orange County caused lockdowns at three schools, including Columbia Elementary School. The lockdown was called after students were already leaving, but the principal never used the term "lockdown," and crossing guards didn't even know about it.

    "It's scary," said parent Valerie Monahan. "My heart's broke for all the families (that) lost their children. So not knowing what's going to happen to (my daughter) on a daily basis scares me."

    Following Friday's shooting in Connecticut in which a gunman killed a total of 26 teachers and students, some central Florida parents said they believe their children should be drilled on lockdowns regularly.

    "Thank God that things are going to be changing," said parent Rebecca Hughes. "That's all we can do from here on out."

    Volusia County Schools drill students on lockdowns once a month, and Osceola County does it once every three months. Lake County students are drilled on lockdowns twice a year, and Seminole County does lockdown drills "periodically."

    Diane Moore, Orange County's teacher's union president, also agrees the district needs to do more.

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