Columbia police preparing schools for worst case scenario

admin Imagine Schools in the news

Article published January 11, 2013. Video news story also available on

COLUMBIA (WACH) –  Nina Strigle teaches fourth and fifth grade students at Imagine Columbia Leadership Academy.

After December’s school shooting in Newtown Connecticut, Strigle knew her new lesson plan would be teaching students to be ready for emergencies.

“It can happen in any school district or any grade level. My first thing was we came together as staff and wanted to figure out what we needed to do,” said Nina Strigle.

On Friday, Columbia police were working with students and teachers about what to do during a dangerous situation.

“They will trick you into thinking there is a fire and you have to get out,” said one officer working to teach the school the Standard Response Protocol.

The Standard Response Protocol is a nationally used program that is based off the response different situations require .

“Lock down, lock out, you know, outta sight, lights out; we wanted to make it simple, specifically for the students of the age group that’s usually in elementary schools to make sure they didn’t have to think twice when a situation happens,” said Interim Police Chief Ruben Santiago.

The program teaches what to do in case of a lockout, lockdown and evacuation. 

“The biggest thing they kept saying was to keep silent,” said Strigle.

Fourth grader Kenniyah Sampson experienced a lockdown at her old school, and the program’s simple words and easy to remember instructions are directions she’s never forgotten. She says she knows how important they are to follow.

“We have to make sure the light are turned off the door is locked and we are in a quiet safe corner… The teacher has to make sure her phone is on vibrate so the bad person doesn’t hear it,” said  Sampson.

“I’m here to protect them not only to just give them the knowledge, but i’m here to make them a better student and to make sure they are safe,” added Strigle.