Kingston school drill causes controversy

Posted: 01/23/13 at 10:45 pm EST      Last Updated: 01/23/13 at 11:03 pm EST

KINGSTON, Mass. (WHDH) -- A school drill in Kingston took students by surprise last Wednesday when armed law enforcement officers came into their classrooms.

It’s called a "code yellow drill" -- law enforcement dressed like a SWAT team, testing school safety.

“I knew it was a drill but I didn’t really know what happened until after it happened,” said Dave Tuttle, a student.

Dave Tuttle was sitting in class at Silver Lakes High last Wednesday.

“I heard a lot of people were really upset about what happened. They just didn’t think it was right that they should be going in rooms with guns,” Tuttle said.

The district's superintendent defended the drill, but admitted students and teachers didn't know it was coming.

“We're looking for it to be as realistic as possible for people to learn a behavior as to how to act in an emergency situation,” said John Tuffy, superintendent.

In the drill, the armed officers go room-by-room, checking for locked doors, and lights turned off.

“In a perfect drill, they wouldn't see anybody and our students wouldn’t see them,” said Tuffy.

But the drill wasn't perfect. The superintendent says some students didn't hide, and one room wasn't locked.

“We have procedures and they weren't followed,” Tuffy said.

School leaders say they've had overwhelming support for the drill -- but not everyone's convinced.

“Just the times we live in, you got to do it,” said Jeff Asnes, a parent.

“I think it’s unwarranted. Yes, measures need to be taken, but I think it’s going a bit far,” said Tuttle.

The superintendent said more drills could be conducted in the future.

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