‘Soft Lockdown’ is term that defines a protocol in a school to respond to a threat outside the school without immediate threat to the students inside the school.
During a Soft Lockdown the building perimeter is secured with staff stationed at the doors. Visitors may not enter the building during a ‘soft lockdown.’ Teaching proceeds as usual. Depending on the conditions, class period changes are allowed.
Some schools have protocols with options to collect cell phones with the objective of preventing misinformation or confusion of communication with friends and family outside of the school.
Some schools release part-time employees in a ‘soft lockdown’ situation.
A ‘Hard Lockdown’ is defined as protocol that keeps students locked in their classrooms. Students are instructed to remain seated — out of sight through windows or doors. Lights are usually turned off and teaching lessons stop until the threat passes. ‘Hard Lockdowns’ are usually utilized when an intruder is known to be inside the building, or some other serious threat inside the building or on the school property is identified.
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