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Q. What is a Lockdown?
A. A lockdown is defined by police as the restriction of movement during the time of a potentially serious violent threat or violent incident that would endanger the lives of students and staff. A lockdown is used when there is a violent incident or threat of serious violence within the school, in relation to the school or on school property and there is an immediate threat to the safety of students or staff. When the school is under lockdown all movement within the school and into or out of the school is restricted. All the doors remain open to allow the police immediate entry.
Q. What is “Hold and Secure?”
A. Hold and Secure is used when the school is secured due to a situation outside the school. If there were a threat in the neighbourhood (like a bank robbery near the school), Hamilton Police Services would contact the school. Classes continue normally with the exterior doors locked until the threat has passed. All movement in and out of the school is restricted. At the same time, all exterior facing window are covered or blinds drawn and the lights are dimmed where possible.
Q. What is Shelter in Place?
A. Shelter in Place may be recommended by the Police, Fire Department or Emergency Response. Shelter in Place is used for an environmental or weather related situation where it is necessary to keep everyone in the school to protect them. Situations might include chemical spills, blackouts, explosions or extreme weather. When Shelter in Place is in force, people enter and remain in the building with the doors and windows closed. Fans and air conditioners are turned off to prevent outside air from getting in if there is a danger from outdoor air quality. Normal operations continue inside the building.
Q. My child is being picked on at school, is it bullying?
A. School board policy defines bullying as a form of repeated, persistent, and aggressive behaviour directed at an individual or individuals that is intended to cause (or should be known to cause) fear and distress and/or harm to another person’s body, feelings, self-esteem, or reputation. Bullying occurs in a context where there is a real or perceived power imbalance. Any time that you are concerned about your child you should approach the child’s teacher and principal.