Locking down and staying safe


Infographic by: Sailor Hawes

When an intruder who intends to harm students or faculty comes onto Ventura High School’s campus, VHS administrator’s main goal is to keep students safe.

Infographic by: Sailor Hawes

Assistant principal, Susan Eberhart, shared, “It’s all about having a safe mindset. One thing [to keep us safe] may not work all the time.”

“We are trying to keep [students] protected in a place where hopefully the intruder can’t get to [them],” assistant principal, Charles Cornwell, said.

“We don’t want to say that [lockdowns] are the only solution [however]” Cornwell said.

Cornwell shared that the best way to remain safe is to figure out where the problem is coming from, and move away from it. If you are near a classroom, go into it. If you are near a bathroom, lock yourself in a stall. If you need to run, then run.

When asked what students are supposed to do if an active shooter were to come onto campus during lunch, Cornwell stated, “For the most part, teachers are at lunch and classrooms are closed. What I expect [students] to do is run away from the problem, whatever it takes. If we know where the problem is, go the opposite way.”

Cornwell mentioned an incident that occurred five years ago, “There was a kid who claimed he had a weapon [on campus.] What we did there was more of a ‘soft’ lock down, which meant that we did a perimeter. We kept the kids on [one] side of the campus, so the police could deal with him.”

Cornwell then explained how important lock downs and lock down drills are. “Whenever we have a practice lock down I get a little [frustrated] because I will see a kid walking around and I think ‘do you understand [that] you are the person that [a shooter] would probably go after?’ Some people take it seriously, some people don’t.”

In case of a real emergency, Cornwell wants students to be well prepared and capable of staying safe.

Listen to the full interview with Cornwell below