Practice pays off at local high schools
Twice in the past 10 days small fires at local high schools sent students scurrying out of classrooms. In both instances, students responded in an orderly manner.
Schools, by law, have to hold fire drills and other safety drills every year. For students, they are a bothersome bore, but they also get the students out of class for a few minutes.
Rarely, are the alarms any more than a drill and rarely do they last but a couple of minutes.
That was not the case Sept. 13 at Granite Hills High School or Sept. 18 at Monache High School. On those two occasions, they were not drills and while the fires fortunately turned out to be minor, they were real and students and staff had to respond accordingly. They did.
School officials at both high schools have got to be proud of how orderly the evacuations went in each incident. At Granite Hills, students were sent to many different parts of the campus as fire fighters put out a small fire in the boys locker room of the gym. Students at Monache did the same thing a week later when a plug overheated in a arts lab.
School officials noted they had been practicing and while they hope it is never for real, they were glad for the practice when it did count. Students should be commended for doing what they were told and for taking the situation seriously after so many drills.
At the schools, students were asked to stand outside, mostly in the hot sun, while fire fighters ensured it was safe to return to class. For the Granite Hills students, where the fire was a little more serious, that meant several minutes yet they remained calm and orderly.
We hope that no more fire evacuations will be needed in the near future, but parents should be assured if they are, students and staff will react accordingly to ensure everyone is safe.
We must also commend the staff, most notably Rich Lambie, for their efforts to extinguish the fire at Granite Hills and Officer Mark Lightfoot who wisely got them out of the gym when the fire was creating too much dangerous smoke.