By Max Hrenda
More than two weeks after a police chase caused Hampton Elementary School to enter full lockdown, the Carter County Board of Education discussed how to further prepare schools against potential disasters.
On Tuesday afternoon, Carter County Schools’ Director of Schools Kevin Ward and Director of Security Mickey Taylor told the board an evacuation drill is being planned for Unaka High School.
The drill, which will be orchestrated by the Carter County Sheriff’s Department, will be designed to gauge the school’s, and emergency responders’, reactions during an evacuation.
Ward added that, because this drill will be the first of its kind, he and Taylor wanted the board’s opinion.
“The reason Mickey wanted to present this is because we needed a little bit of direction and some forethought,” Ward said. “This is going to be a first, and there may be a good way to go about it from the get-go.”
Taylor said that the drill would take place sometime in October, and would take anywhere from one to one-and-a-half hours to complete.
Although Taylor said he had reservations about interrupting a school day, he added that the information could prove beneficial.
“I don’t like to disrupt the school day, but for safety … I can see a whole lot of benefit,” Taylor said. “It’s taking time away from things we’re trying to do, but it’s something that we could probably benefit from. And the sheriff’s department, as well.”
Ward agreed with Taylor’s assessment that the drill’s benefits could outweigh the students’ missed time in the classroom.