In California, a Textbook Lockdown of a School

Testing out a district safety and security plan following a gun sighting


The school lockdown was cleared about a half hour later, after Paso Robles police and district workers searched the school's 30 classrooms and did not find anyone with a gun.

"Everybody was really calm and professional and did a really great job, because they know what to do," Wright said.

Police now suspect the after-school incident was prompted by a boy with an air gun. They have found neither boy nor gun, but did recover air gun cartridges on campus.

The locksmith told police he saw the boy load the orange-tipped handgun and act as if he was shooting twice into the ground. Federal law requires an orange tip on all toy guns.

School had ended more than half an hour before the gun sighting, so there were only about 15 students and slightly more teachers still on campus, Wright said.

California requires every public school to have a response plan and to update it annually.

The state requires each school to work with local authorities -- a police or fire department -- and members of the public when they formulate their response plans.

Paso Robles Public Schools is among the five districts in the county that run their completed plans by the insurance group as well as police and fire departments, said Lightfoot.

"There's a lot of people who are experts ... looking through these things," he said.

Jason Taylor, the district's safety coordinator and transportation supervisor, noted that schools have plenty of incentive -- primarily for the safety of children, as well as potential liability issues -- to make sure the plans meet state requirements.

"We want to be prepared," he said. "The main focus is the safety of the kids."