DMS goes into lockdown

Cooper Beranek and Joslen Wininger

Thursday afternoon was a little bit different for Duncan Middle School.

Between 2:30 p.m. and 4 p.m., the school went into lockdown because of a police pursuit in the neighborhood next to the middle school. However, despite the lockdown, teaching continued in the classrooms.

Renea Lawler, STEM teacher, was working with eighth-grade students when the lockdown went into effect. Lawler started the lockdown by making sure her doors were locked, following procedures for lockdowns at the middle school.

She said she was a little nervous because the announcement were quick and the person announcing was not descriptive of what to do other than locking doors. The announcement, itself, made it clear that the lockdown was not a drill.

Whitney Gdanski, seventh-grade English teacher, said also followed the same procedures, but she was not nervous.

Gdanski said she knew something was going on outside the school, but she said there was nothing to be afraid of because she knew the school’s resource officers, John Williams, would keep everyone safe.

Despite the school day stretching an hour past the usual dismissal time, Gdanski kept her students entertained by listening to the police scanners and watching a movie.

On the sixth-grade hall, Ashton Hall, sixth-grade science teacher, said she had no clue what was going on outside her classroom, aside from listening to the announcements. Hall said she was freaked out about the lockdown and even turned off the lights to avoid upsetting her students.

Her goal was to maintain her composure to prevent her students from getting upset because she knew that would only make the situation worse than it already was. When things had cooled down, Hall addressed the situation with her students, letting them know it was OK to be freaked out but that everything would be OK.

Once everything settled, Hall talked about lockdown procedures with her students and even teamed up with the other science class to watch a few science videos until the lockdown concluded around 3:50 p.m.