Officer Andre Corbitt checks a classroom during a recent lockdown drill at Kinston High. Corbitt said such drills are necessary to ensure that all teachers, students and staff members know what to do in the event of an emergency at the school. (Kyle Brown/The Viking Press)

By Resita Cox

The code-red lockdown drill Kinston High held on Oct. 25 may have taken many students by surprise.

“I did not know it was a drill,” junior Janay Boone said. “I thought it was a real lockdown.”

This was the first drill Kinston High has held this year and the timing of it was also quite significant. Just a day before the drill a rare shooting happened at Cape Fear High school in Fayettville, N.C. According to The Fayetteville Observer, Catilyn Abercrombie, a 15-year-old student who attended the high school, was shot in the neck Monday. What made the happening so unusual was that the student was shot by a stray bullet fired by two other students at the school.

Resource officer Andre Corbitt believes that something as devastating could also happen at Kinston High. Corbitt said that Kinston High performs lockdown drills in order to be prepared for these events.

“We find out what everyone is doing or are not doing right,” Corbitt said, “and we can correct that.”

Corbitt went on to explain the steps of a lockdown drill: An announcement is first made over the intercom, saying “Code-red, students are now in lockdown.” Teachers will then go to their classrooms and gather all students away from the door and windows. Colored cards notify law enforcement of potential danger.

Having the drills allows for the students and staff members to become more aware of what they are supposed to do in a harmful situation and prevents panic.

“Everybody knows what they are supposed to do,” Corbitt said.

Kinston High averages about two drills per year according to Corbitt. Kinston High was put into an actual lockdown once last year after administrators received news of a potentially threatening situation. The lockdown ended after about an hour with no incidents reported.

Students said the preparation that comes with lockdown drills play a huge role in ensuring the safety of the school, students and staff at Kinston High.

“I feel safe at Kinston High,” Boone said, “I really do.”