4:17 PMThursday, May 18, 2023
Any number of terrible things could happen in a school setting — from a fire to a natural disaster to an active shooter event.
“You never really do know what’s coming,” said Kate Ross, a student at Wayzata High School.
Nearly 3,700 students attend Wayzata High School, making it the largest in-person school in the state. And every one of those students knows about the tragedies that have happened at other schools across the nation.
“I think I can speak for every student by saying that we truly are scared and we are frightened by what’s going on in the world and the dangers that can happen,” said Govindan Iyengar, a junior at Wayzata.
Whether it be a school shooting, or some other type of incident, reuniting students with their parents would be of the utmost importance.
“I think my parents would be absolutely terrified, to be entirely honest,” Ross added. “They would be trying to get with me as soon as possible.”
To prepare for such a scenario, the district is working with the Plymouth Police Department to organize a family reunification drill at the Plymouth Community Center.
“The purpose of the drill is to really see if what we are thinking on paper in our plan to reunify parents with students, or loved ones with family members, or just shelter people, actually works when we put it into use,” said Plymouth Police Chief Erik Fadden.
Yet in order for the drill to happen, they need volunteers. Ideally, they’d like 200 Wayzata students in grades 10-12 and 100 adults to act as their “parents.”
“The more people that we have in a drill scenario like this where we’re really just training, it’s going to feel more real if a big incident actually happens,” Fadden said.
Students Kate Ross and Govindan Iyengar plan to be part of the safety drill, and they’re asking others to join them on July 18.
“I think it’s really important that, as a school, we practice these so we can control emotions when they’re high,” Iyengar said.
“I think it is absolutely necessary,” Ross added. “Especially in the current times and the current state of our country.”
The family reunification drill will take place Tuesday, July 18, from 8:30 a.m. to noon. Volunteers are asked to meet at Wayzata High School. To sign up, you can do so on the Wayzata School District website.
Related: Wayzata School District Works to Protect Against Active Shooters
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