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The Student News Site of Liberty High School

The Live Wire

ICCSD reviews new student-focused safety curriculum

In the wake of the shooting at Perry High School, ICCSD is considering changing its safety protocols.
Megan Quinn
In ICCSD buildings, during the school day, students and visitors have to check into the office before getting into the school.

“Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, Evacute.” Ever since Gov. Kim Reynolds signed a bill after the Parkland Shooting requiring schools to regularly conduct safety drills, the Iowa City Community School District (ICCSD) has required ALICE safety drills for staff members to handle situations involving an active shooter/intruder. Unlike some other school districts in Iowa, ICCSD doesn’t discuss or perform these procedures with students. 

However, this will change. Prompted by the recent Iowa school shooting at Perry High School, ICCSD’s safety committee is currently in progress of reviewing training material from the I Love U Guys Foundation, whose mission is to “restore and protect the joy of youth through educational programs and positive actions” through a variety of “trauma informed” training courses and protocol in case of an emergency. Starting this spring (if approved) 7th-12th graders at ICCSD will learn and utilize its materials. 

There is a reason why many school districts are hesitant to implement these drills and discussions for students. Although it’s not exactly clear if this new proposed curriculum will include actual drills, it will definitely include in-depth conversations on this sensitive topic.   According to a study done by the Georgia Institute of Technology’s Social Dynamics and 

Wellbeing Lab, active shooter drills are associated with a 42% increase in stress and anxiety. Ryan Swails, the media secretary at Liberty, has gone through the staff-required ALICE drills, and has mixed feelings about introducing these drills/learning with students. 

“[School shootings] should never have to be a thing… [but] you don’t want to make an environment that’s triggering. Just innately, it’s kind of like the doomsday clock in your head going off,” said Swails.

Yet, especially after the school shooting at Perry High School, students are becoming more cautious of the fact that these tragedies can happen anywhere. 

“Most of the times when I’ve heard of school shootings, it was always like really far away, the fact that [it can happen] here in Iowa, that makes me a little bit more worried,” said Emily Lu, 9. 

Students at Liberty know what to do in a fire or tornado emergency because these drills are conducted regularly. However, students at Liberty might not know what to do in an active shooter situation. 

“I feel like a lot of the casualties could be prevented. If students knew what they were doing [in an active shooter situation] it would enforce safety [and] the welfare of our community,” said Idara Ituk, 12.

Even if the curriculum doesn’t get approved, there can be other ways for students to feel more prepared and safe for an event like this to happen.

“A better school tour, having kids go to different parts of the school, would help with understanding that you’re not stuck here. You’re not in danger. We built this building specifically to keep people safe, get in and get out,” said Swails. 

All ICCSD buildings currently have their exterior doors locked during the school day, with cameras installed throughout the exteriors and interiors of the buildings. Even with these measures, the district is still debating whether more safety precautions should be implemented.

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About the Contributor
Megan Quinn
Megan Quinn, Editor-in-Chief
Megan is a senior at Liberty. This is her third year on staff and she is the editor-in-chief for the 2023-2024 school year. She is involved in theatre, mock trial, speech, and city government. In her free time, she likes to watch video essays and try new coffee shops.