Pasco school lock down just a drill - WJBF-TV ABC 6 Augusta-Aiken News, Weather, Sports

Pasco school lock down just a drill

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When Pine View Middle School in Land O' Lakes went on lock down last week, students and teachers had no idea it was just a drill.

"I thought it was real because usually the teacher know, so I took it seriously," said Pine View sixth grader Tyler Hathcock.

Some students called or texted their parents, who tried calling the school but got no answer.

"And then the parents will get the phone ringing, and ringing and ringing," said district spokeswoman Linda Cobbe. "And then they become even more upset."

In the wake of school shootings across the country, law enforcement officials say it's incredibly important to be prepared for the unthinkable.

Pasco County Sheriff's Lieutenant J.R. Law is in charge of the school resource officer program. He says informing teachers and students a drill is about to happen would be counterproductive.

"When something happens and they hear lock down over the PA, or however we institute the lock down itself, we don't have the luxury of letting them question is this a drill, or a practice or what do I do," said Law. "Each one needs to be treated as the real thing. Because in the situation where we do have a situation that's an emergency, they need to respond very quickly. Because every second lost when you're dealing with a critical situation could potentially mean lives lost."

Jennifer Crnkovich is Tyler's mother. She says she's not one hundred percent convinced mock lock downs are the way to go.

"I think it was good practice," said Crnkovich. "But I still think they should be notified."

Cobb says students, teachers and staff members are notified after the drill is over, that it was just that. Parents are notified shortly after that.

"The school will send home an automated phone call to parents," said Cobbe. "Letting them know that they did have a drill."

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