Two weeks ago, Grangeville High School underwent a lockdown due to a report of a person on campus with a firearm.
In due course, this was determined unfounded, and life went on.
In reflection: Was this an overreaction? Was it unnecessary? Even in pro-gun Idaho County, the reality today – as unfortunately demonstrated in past incidents nationwide — argues “not at all.” In fact, response by both the Mt. View School District 244 and local law enforcement showed a proper response that followed procedure and focused on quick response and safety.
And this follows through the chain, starting with a student being observant to something unusual in the surroundings and immediately reporting the matter. On determining the subject was not able to be located, the lockdown initiated quickly by staff and students, and police officers fell back on training to neutralize the threat. And then following this incident, the district and law enforcement evaluated the response for where they could improve next time.
Just focusing on law enforcement for a second, that response was impressive: First off, three officers on scene within three minutes of the call, and then five outside agencies (Idaho, Lewis counties; Idaho State Police, Forest Service, Cottonwood PD) coming to assist Grangeville PD on the matter.
Overall, this was a very good response, especially for a rural Idaho community. And while there may have been some whispers of “overkill,” the families of these children should be able to recognize and appreciate the skills and planning that went into the protection of their most precious commodities.
While we’re not eager to entertain the possibility of a shooting incident happening in one of our schools, what we’ve seen from earlier this month shows we have local officials who are prepared and who continue to work on preparedness.