Orangeville Jr-Sr High safety drill angers students and parents - WREX.com – Rockford’s News Leader

Orangeville Jr-Sr High safety drill angers students and parents

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Skylar Walters talks with his mother, Nicole Fishburn in the Orangeville Jr-Sr parking lot Skylar Walters talks with his mother, Nicole Fishburn in the Orangeville Jr-Sr parking lot
Deputy Sheriff Todd Welch Deputy Sheriff Todd Welch

By Michael Peppers

ORANGEVILLE-(WREX)

A disguised deputy entered Orangeville Jr-Sr High School Friday with a cap gun and fired it around students.

It was all part of a safety drill, but parents are angry and one mother and her son spoke out.

"I started praying to God and saying my last words," said Orangeville High School student Skylar Walters. "I was scared, I didn't know what to do," said

Walters was in gym class last Friday when a man came in with a gun, calling the name of a fellow student.

"Kids were just running everywhere and crying and hiding, ran off school grounds," said Walters. "It was just the scariest thing in my life."

His mother, Nicole Fishburn says the district gave her same day notice about the drill via automated phone message. It told her not to warn her son about the drill, or take any possible calls from him while it was happening. Fishburn says she's upset administrators didn't give her more details.

"He's 16," she said. "I can't imagine what the younger [students] are going through. I think this could be a complete lawsuit."

Deputy Sheriff Todd Welch says there was an additional officer on hand during the drill to make sure things stayed under control.

"There was no intent of harm and nobody was in any danger at any time," said Welch.

The school's principal and district superintendent Randy Otto said the state requires yearly safety drills. Fishburn argues the drill did little to teach students about what to do in an emergency.

"These kids didn't learn anything accept for to basically run for you lives," she said.

Walters says it went too far.

"People got hurt," he said. "People got mentally scarred for life. I think they should take a different approach for this."

The school board will discuss the drill at the district's next board meeting in the Orangeville Jr-Sr High School on Tuesday night at 7:00pm.

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