Plan to protect students if armed intruder breaks in

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LOUDON, Tenn. (WVLT) - We've all lined up at school for a fire drill, or hid under our desks for a tornado warning.

But with the focus on school security, what's the plan if the danger is an armed intruder?

For the past couple of months, Loudon County Schools officials have been discussing procedures to protect the kids.

This is never a drill the school even wanted to practice, but in the wake of Newtown, anything seems possible.

"As long as there are dangers out there, you need to be prepared for any situation," said Matthew Tinker, the principal at Fort Loudoun Middle School.

The front office and school resource officer are the first lines of defense at Fort Loudoun MS, but there are lock down procedures for every school in Loudon County.

Principal Tinker starts with clearing the hallways, then checking the classroom doors to make sure they're locked.

"Try to make the room dark where that if anybody looked into the window. Try to (make it so that) if there were kids or adults in there, that they wouldn't be able to see. Just make that as hard as possible," said Tinker.

The kids and teachers hide out of sight until the threat is over.

"We believe that if you practice, you're going to be better prepared to respond to the situation. Hopefully nothing like this will ever happen, but if it did we want to make sure that we're prepared," said Jason Vance, Director of Schools in Loudon County.

Vance says every school will go through a drill before the end of May. He says this is all about protecting the 5,000 students, so all they and parents will have to worry about is their grades.

Another way to protect the kids will start in August, when every school in Loudon County will have an armed SRO.

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