Turner school lockdown drill scares students

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by Mike Benner, KGW Staff

NWCN.com

Posted on February 20, 2013 at 6:58 AM

Updated Wednesday, Feb 20 at 11:59 AM

TURNER, Ore -- Some parents and students in the small town of Turner, near Salem, were upset after a lockdown drill sent kids running for their classrooms in terror Wednesday.

"I was on the playground and I see everyone screaming, running into their classrooms," said fifth-grader Carter Bourassa.  "I turn around and there is this guy climbing over the fence with a stick."

Carter said the man was dressed in a hoodie. 

"I thought someone was going to kidnap us or kill us," said Carter.  "I was scared and there was a lot of people crying."

The kids raced inside to their classrooms. Carter said the man then started banging on the windows.

According to the principal of Turner Elementary School, it was all part of a surprise lockdown drill.  He admits things went too far when a student teacher, acting as the intruder, got too aggressive. 

Carter's mom sees the need for drills, done sensibly.

"It's necessary to have drills," said Heidi Bourassa.  "There need to be drills and the kids need to be informed it's a drill."

Melissa Casady, president of the Turner Parent Club, believes it was never the principal's intention to scare the kids.

"Every decision they make has the best of intentions behind it," said Casady.

Back at the Bourassa house, Carter's mom was making sure he learned a lesson.

"Be prepared for the unexpected if necessary," she said.

The principal sent a letter home to parents after the drill. He said the school has debriefed about the drill and he hopes everyone learned something.

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