How often are Tri-City classrooms on lockdown?

TRI-CITIES - One week after that terrible day in Connecticut -- KEPR is taking a closer look at lockdown procedures at our schools. These can be initiated for any of a number of reasons. We learned *how often school doors have locked down this year.

Thousands of children sit in Tri-City classrooms every day.
It's a lot of kids to keep safe if there's ever an emergency.

"Schools should be a safe place for children," said Kennewick parent Kristine Peterson.

Kristine Peterson has two children of her own - with one in elementary school. Like so many others -- she was devastated by the Connecticut shootings.

"It's just a hard thing. A very hard thing," said Peterson.

Local schools regularly practice lockdowns to hone their skills if kids or staff were ever in danger. A lockdown could be called if a criminal is on the loose close by. Police alert the school to secure the building. It's a matter of locking the interior and perimeter doors. Teachers and staff take their kids and find refuge.

LeAnn: "it's a draft plan. So we're always keep revising it as we learn more and we practice," said LeAnn Nunamaker

So far this school year -- three Pasco schools were put on lockdown.
As for Kennewick -- only one. Richland reports at least one event as well.

The reasons range from a medical emergency to criminal activity near campus. Administrators say lockdowns are a rare occurrence -- but elementary schools are required to drill threetimes every school year.

"Our number one goal is to keep our kids and our staff members safe," added Nunamaker.

Reviewed, drilled and practiced -- all in hopes it's never implemented.

"Well, I hope we never have to experience that. I hope my children never have to," said Peterson.

All three school districts plan to actively review safety procedures -- including lockdowns. Pasco School District even tells KEPR they brought in a lock expert. More changes will be reviewed after winter break.