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The difference between a Lockout and Lockdown

CASTLE ROCK – In our Standard Response Protocol two of the actions are Lockout and Lockdown. While the names may be very similar, what happens during a Lockout and Lockdown is very different.

During a Lockout, the perceived danger is outside of the school. School administrators move all students and activities inside and ensure the building’s perimeter is secured.

“It may be a situation with animals outside or there might be police activity in the area,” explained DCSD’s Director of Safety and Security Rich Payne.

While the Lockout response encourages greater staff situational awareness, it allows for educational practices to continue with little classroom interruption or distraction.

“We go about our daily business,” Payne said.

It is important to mention that Douglas County Schools operate daily in a near-Lockout situation. Perimeter doors are locked and visitors are screened at the building’s entrance. Generally, at our elementary and middle schools, visitors are expected to ring a door bell in order to be buzzed in and then need to sign in at the office. At high schools, security personnel generally greet visitors.

During a Lockdown situation, the perceived danger is inside the building.

When a Lockdown is announced, the Standard Response Protocol “Locks, Lights, Out of Sight” is initiated.

Classroom doors are locked, lights are turned off and students are moved away from windows and doors. Students are encouraged to remain quiet.

“We go into a secured location and keep the hallways cleared, so that law enforcement can come into the school and take action,” Payne explained.

He says that by placing barriers between attackers, our students and staff buy additional time for law enforcement to respond and neutralize the threat.

The Standard Response Protocol was created following the tragedies at Columbine and Platte Canyon High Schools in order to improve communication within schools and with emergency responders.



Threat outside school
Students moved inside
Perimeter is secured
Inside activities continue as normal

Threat inside school
Classroom doors locked
Lights turned out
Students moved away from windows and doors


September 10, 2014 | By rmbarber | Category: Safety and Security

District News

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