Security procedures in place at local schools in case of dangerous situations

Hampden County

School lockdowns were triggered in two western Massachusetts communities last week. 

Palmer School students had to shelter-in-place Friday, while police looked for an armed home invasion suspect. The JFK Middle School in Northampton also went into lockdown Thursday after a student saw a man with an air rifle in a back parking lot. Parents are pleased there are plans in place. 

“For me to be sure there’s enough security here so nothing will happen to none of my family and no one else’s kids,” said Percy Orellano of Holyoke.

In Springfield, police determine whether a lockdown is required. Springfield Public Schools will enter into a perimeter lockdown when Springfield police believe students could be in any danger. Schools will be locked down when there’s criminal activity occurring in the community. 

“With all the crime that’s happening around, safety is the number one key,” said Andre Campbell of Springfield. “Without safety, you can’t have education. They go to school, they want to learn, but some don’t go because they fear their lives.”

Holyoke Public Schools Superintendent Stephen Zrike told 22News The Holyoke district would order a lockdown if an armed intruder threatened a school, or if there’s a shooting in the community. Dr. Zrike said recent school shootings across the country have prompted Holyoke to update their security procedures.

Both Holyoke and Springfield Schools declined to reveal any specifics about their security procedures. 

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