Guam – The Guam Department of Education says it was only a drill, but for some students, staff, and parents of Tiyan High School, the active shooter alert this morning felt very real– apparently, in some instances they were never notified that it was only a drill.
GDOE Spokeswoman Isa Baza said in a release that the active shooter drill commenced at 9:25 a.m. and lasted for 13 minutes, ending at 9:38 a.m.
However, some parents did tell PNC that during the drill their children never received any kind of notice that it was only a drill, causing panic and alarm for many at the school.
A media alert was sent out at 9:41 am saying it was only a drill, however, PNC was in contact with at least one parent who said their student still had not received any word about the situation only being a drill.
GDOE then sent out another press release about three hours after the drill ended to address concerns about the lack of communication.
“One major issue was the confusion over whether the drill was an actual active shooter incident among students and employees. This led to concern among stakeholders at the school and in the broader community,” the release details.
The apparently faulty drill comes just a few weeks after the false missile alert in Hawaii that caused pandemonium among its residents.
Baza later confirmed that GDOE did receive some complaints from parents about the lack of communication.
You can read the release from GDOE below:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
TIYAN HIGH SCHOOL CONDUCTS ACTIVE SHOOTER DRILL
As part of the Guam Department of Education effort to ensure that all schools are prepared for emergencies of any kind, Tiyan High School conducted an active shooter drill Monday morning.
Teachers and students sheltered in classrooms as school administration checked to ensure doors were secured and school staff followed the appropriate protocols.
The drill began at 9:25 a.m. and was completed at 9:38 a.m.
While the drill aimed to ensure employees were prepared to effectively respond to active shooter incidents, management saw areas for immediate improvement.
One major issue was confusion over whether the drill was an actual active shooter incident among students and employees. This led to concern among stakeholders at the school and in the broader community.
While GDOE prioritizes emergency and disaster preparedness, especially in light of recent tragedies that have occurred in the U.S. mainland, it will be reviewing this latest drill to avoid similar issues in the future, and will work collaboratively with employees and local law enforcement to improve how these drills are conducted going forward.