DGS initiates a shelter-in-place to investigate a potential threat


Abby Culcasi

On Jan. 31, DGS initiated a shelter-in-place to investigate a potential danger to school safety; it was determined that there was no threat present.

At 9:54 in the morning on Feb. 1, the students and staff of DGS were sent into a shelter-in-place while law enforcement assessed a potential threat at the school. It was eventually determined that there was no actual threat present. While sheltering, students participated in the monthly Mustang Way lesson, and were released approximately 25 minutes later.

Assistant Principal Karen Taylor described the chain of events that lead up to the shelter-in-place being initiated.

“We got an alert from the concerned community member, based on something they had seen this morning. They contacted our dean’s office, and got them in touch with our school resource officer, and immediately after taking the report, our school resource officer alerted us as administrators, and then in order to keep students as safe as possible while we investigated the report, we initiated the shelter in place,” Taylor said.

In situations such as these, students and classrooms are often searched. Taylor reassured that any student searched during a shelter-in-place would be provided with resources to help them process having to be searched.

“Any time a student is searched, a dean or administrator is present for the search, and we notify the parents as immediately as possible, and we process out loud with the student the purpose and reason for the search. Every student is assigned to an alpha team, that’s the counselor, the dean, and then either a psychologist or a social worker. The alpha team is made aware of the situation and responds accordingly,” Taylor said.

Senior Caroline Elkin felt that the school handled the threat well, and that they never felt like they were in any danger.

“I feel like I’m never really that scared when we have lockdowns, I feel pretty safe. Also, it’s normalized, so I was relatively reassured. I think it was probably handled well for something that was discovered this morning. I think they were pretty quick with it, and it was also done quietly so as not to worry us,” Elkin said.

During the shelter-in-place, students watched the Mustang Way video lesson about equity and treating others with respect, but English teacher Nicole Proimos feels that it didn’t receive the attention it deserved due to the chaos and confusion of the morning.

“I feel like it was such an important message, but [students] weren’t able to give it the attention it deserved because they were curious or worried, or just weren’t taking it seriously. I think it was an adjustment they made to make sure we were occupied at the time, but perhaps it is something that could be circled back to, to make sure that important message is given the attention it deserves,” Proimos said.