Q: My child comes home and will tell me they had a code yellow or another school has a code red. What does that mean? -Parent-
A: I am able to answer this question.
One of the requirements that K-12 public school must comply with are, “School Safety Drills”. Stephenson Area Public Schools are required to schedule and practice safety preparedness such as Fire Drills 2 drills required each school year, Severe Weather Drills 2 drills required each school year, Shelter in Place Drills / Cod Red and Lock-down Drills / Code Yellow (a total of 3 in any combination of Shelter in Place, Code Yellow or Code Red required each school year). The scheduling and execution of these drills are recorded and reported to the Michigan Department of Education annually. Documentation of drills can be found on our Stephenson Area Public Schools website labeled "Emergency Drills".
What is Code Yellow? Code Yellow is a required drill where districts lock all exterior doors as well as classroom doors. Business goes on as usual within the classrooms and offices. Students and staff are not allowed to leave the classrooms or offices without escort. When does a code yellow occur? “Code Yellow Drills” occur when there is a tip from law enforcement or credible source that there is a “potential threat” within the region or area.
What is Code Red? “Code Red” is also a required safety drill where districts lock exterior doors as well as classroom doors and there is a state-endorsed safety pin that in attached to the door and floor. During these drills students and staff move to a predetermined place within the facility, remain silent and remain in the predetermined area until the “Code Red” is lifted. “Code Red” is used when there is “Reasonable Suspicion” that a threat is within the region of area. During the required “Code Red” Drill, Law Enforcement is present to observe and check to make sure the drill is being run as required by state expectations. During the times of actual “Code Red” situations / non-drill, law enforcement works diligently to have a presence in the immediate area of schools. This presence is either on patrol outside the building or a presence within the building.
I hope this answers your question.