School Shooting Drills Now Include Firing Blanks in the Hallway

Illinois Shooting Blanks

Cary-Grove High School, an Illinois suburban high school, is holding a “code red” emergency drill this Wednesday — a staged shooting that will incorporate real guns shooting blanks.

According to a CBS Chicago news affiliate, school principal Jay Sargeant sent an e-mail that detailed the drill.

High School Shooting Drill

The entire e-mail can be read below:

Dear parents:

At Cary-Grove and across District 155, we make your child’s safety our number one priority each day. As a parent, I can assure you that we understand our responsibility to return your child safely at the end of each day. While we take many preventative steps to keep our building secure, we also practice our response should a crisis arise. Some examples include meetings with first responders, a comprehensive crisis response plan, and simulations. We are planning a code red simulation on Wednesday, January 30. We feel it is important to explain the simulation to you in advance so that you and your child might be able to better understand what will take place on Wednesday.

The simulation will take approximately 15-20 minutes, during which time teachers will secure their rooms, draw curtains, and keep their students from traveling throughout the building. Please note that we will be firing blanks in the hallway in an effort to provide our teachers and students some familiarity with the sound of gunfire. Our school resource officer and other members of the Cary Police Department will assist us in sweeping the building to ensure that all students are in a secure location during the drill. At the conclusion of the drill, we will take some time to process what occurred and then we will return to our normal classroom routine.

I encourage you to discuss the drill with your student both before it happens and after. These drills help our students and staff to be prepared should a crisis occur, but it may cause some students to have an emotional reaction. In those cases, your voice may provide reassurances of the drill’s importance. Additionally, we have trained social workers on staff who can speak directly with your child should he or she need added support.

Should you have any questions, please contact me or any member of the Cary-Grove’s administrative team. Together, we can keep our school a safe place for your child to learn and grow.


Jay Sargeant

A few parents of the students who attend Cary-Grove are displeased and concerned about this extreme drill. One parent, Sharon Miller, spoke to WBBM Newsradio and gave her opinion on the matter:

If you need to run a drill, you run a drill. They run fire drills all the time, but they don’t run up and down the hallway with a flamethrower.

This isn’t the only case of schools incorporating realistic shooting drills, which is a direct outcome of the Sandy Hook elementary school shooting. At the beginning of January, more than 100 Jefferson County teachers and administration participated in active shooter school training.

Video footage of the proceedings can be seen below:

Active shooter drill also occurred at Carver Elementary School, while Educators’ School Training took place in Ohio.

The issue of gun control in America is a hot button issue that is especially important these days. This school shooting drill is another part of the ongoing saga of school shootings/gun control activity.