NEW ROCHELLE, NY -- New Rochelle High School faculty and staff will participate in an active shooter drill this Friday, Jan. 27 at 1:30 p.m. within the school building.
This is the first-ever active shooter drill that will involve school district employees. Up until today, the New Rochelle Police Department would run active shooter drills at night when the buildings were almost entirely empty except for the night cleaning staff who did not participate in those drills.
“This will be the first time that we are doing a drill of this nature,” said New Rochelle High School Principal Reggie Richardson. “Unfortunately it has become necessary to prepare differently to ensure that the students and staff of our school are safe.”
Richardson asked that employees speak with him if they are, for any reason, unable to participate or who feel participating would lead to “unmanageable levels of anxiety”
Students will not be part of this drill and will not be in the building. Friday is a half-day session due to New York State Regents exams. The drill will be led by the New Rochelle Police Department, in conjunction with the New Rochelle High School Safety team members Scott Rubin, Steve Newman and Bruce Daniele.
“We want to let our high school neighbors know this will be taking place on Friday and they should not be alarmed,” said Daniele, the district’s director of security. “Our intent is to provide faculty and staff with additional training to ensure their readiness, if we ever have to deal with this situation.”
Daniele said neighbors may hear what they think are shots being fired, but he stressed the police will only be using blank ammunition.
Prior to the drill, faculty and staff will gather in the auditorium where police officials will explain the drill’s classroom scenario. They will be split into two groups, with the same scenario played out twice.
Afterward, police and school officials will hold a debriefing session with faculty and staff.
A recent Government Accountability Office survey found that nearly two-thirds of all U.S. schools hold some form of active shooter drills to teach teachers and students how to react in the event an armed intruder enters the school.
“Safety remains this district’s first priority,” Daniele added. “Being prepared for all possible situations such as this, helps to ensure everyone remains safe.”