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From school safety drill to reality. How processes were followed during the Mt. Tabor HS shooting

How safety drills played a part in the deadly Mt. Tabor HS shooting and what needs to be changed.

GREENSBORO, N.C. — 2 Wants To Know is taking a closer look at security measures on the day of the deadly Mt. Tabor HS shooting and what it should look like in the future.

William Miller Jr., a 15-year-old student, died in Wednesday's shooting at Mount Tabor High School. The suspected shooter is also 15-years-old. He will not be named unless he is tried as an adult. 

The Day of the shooting

We saw what it looked like outside, with the police setting up a perimeter outside of the school. Inside, the active shooter drills the students and staff had practiced came to real life.

“The school immediately has processes and protocols where they go immediately go into lockdown. Once that announcement is made, students move right into the nearest classroom or nearest location depending on where they are at. And they stay there,” said Tricia McManus, Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools Superintendent.

"And what happens at that point is that we account for all the students because some of them might have been in the hallway or they may be in another classroom.”

The school shooter drill was playing out in real-time. Once all the doors in the classrooms are closed and the students and staff are waiting for the all-clear, what does it look like?


It looks similar to what we saw during an SRO training from the Burlington Police Department in 2018. You can see law enforcement going from classroom to classroom, walking through the halls with guns drawn.

Hoke County Schools did a drill in 2018 showing what it looks like inside the classroom. The doors are closed. The lights are turned off. Students and staff huddle in one place in the room, out of sight from any windows.
The way the drill works, everyone stays put until law enforcement tells them it's safe to move to another location.

The process takes time, in practice and in reality. Now the question is, was the process enough, and what needs to be changed?

“Students and families have to have a voice in what does security looks like. What do they actually feel is important to their safety and so, those will be over the next couple of weeks those decisions,” said McManus.

There's been talks of see-thru backpacks and other measures and not just for Mount Tabor, but something that could be implemented everywhere.