Arrowhead High School Teachers Share Thoughts on Intruder Drill


Lindsay Martin, Reporter

On Wednesday, October 20, Arrowhead High School hosted its annual intruder drill.  Third periods were extended by approximately 40 minutes, and teachers showed a protocol video to their students and facilitated discussions to address any concerns.


One teacher who ensured that students are prepared to stay safe is English teacher Frederick Rauch.  He presented the required information and video to his third hour class, and took a portion of all of his class periods to address the topic and emphasize its importance. 


Rauch asked students if teachers (besides third hour ones) mentioned the drill or anything related to intruder safety.  The unanimous response was “no.” Rauch said he “wasn’t really surprised because teachers are so busy getting to work in their classrooms that the ‘extra’ conversations sometimes fall to the wayside.”  He clarifies that this is “not a criticism so much as a reality.”


Rauch says Arrowhead has a fire drill every month of the school year, meanwhile there is only one intruder drill every year.  He brought up the following statistic (which has been proven by the National Fire Protection Association): the last time a fire in a school killed someone was 62 years ago (Our Lady of the Angels School in Chicago, IL). 


According to NBC News, the last time a school shooting killed someone was October 17, 2021.


The protocol for managing an intruder in the building has not always been the same. Terri Carnell, a Composition and Creative Writing teacher, says, “We used to have a code word for an intruder in the building, and I was always nervous about not hearing it or misunderstanding it, etc.”  Now, a code word is not used; instead other methods of preparation have been adopted, such as a designated meeting spot.


In the case of an intruder, students who leave the school are encouraged to reunite in a designated spot somewhere throughout the Village of Hartland. In years prior, teachers would alert their students of this location during the drill.   Now, teachers avoid naming that location, and reassure students that they would be notified when it is necessary.  This limits the possibility of potentially dangerous students posing harm there as well.


In the presentations, teachers either put an emphasis on what to do in the case of immediate danger, or emphasize the importance of mental well-being among students.  


Steve Melzer, a Marketing and Business teacher, said that it is important to “continue the training,” (referring to how to barricade doors and follow the Run, Hide, Fight method) meanwhile Carnell believes that “bullying and mental health are always areas that should be focused on.  We want our students to feel safe and respect which requires time and trust.”