LOCAL NEWS

Granite School District practices reunifying parents, students in school emergency

Oct 6, 2022, 5:37 PM | Updated: 5:52 pm

MAGNA, Utah — It’s a sight we see too often, parents racing to a school to find out whether their child has been hurt in a shooting or some other emergency.

The Granite School District Thursday tested its readiness for those emergency situations with a reunification drill at Matheson Junior High in Magna.

The drill tested the school community, first responders, and parents.

Here’s the scenario: parents were notified to pick up their kids at a reunification center next to the school due to a gas leak at the school. If it were an active shooter situation, they would be notified to go to that same location.

“Our ultimate job is to make sure your child is safe,” said Sergeant Melody Cutler with the Unified Police Department. “That’s what we’re all here for, is to make sure that child is safe.”

It could be a gas leak, an earthquake, or even an active shooter. Once the threat is over, reunification begins at an offsite location, near the school, but away from the emergency.

“The school district has a plan in place so when something like this happens with any kind of emergency they can notify parents,” Cutler said.

The drill gives everyone involved important mental preparation for the school, the parents, and first responders.

“This is the first time that we’ve actually physically done it,” Cutler said. “It’s been a concept that we’ve talked about that we’ve trained tabletop-type exercises. But this is the first time the Unified Police have actually physically done this exercise.”

It was the first reunification drill for the parents too.

“With today’s day and age, the way things work, it’s nice to have a plan like this in place,” Jesse Liddell said after picking up his son.

It’s an especially important practice for a school that needs to evacuate 1,200 students.

“Probably helpful,” said Cheryl Wing, who was there to pick up two students. “I don’t think it would even be this organized in an actual emergency. So, probably better to get something ahead.”

In the event of a real emergency Wing knew not to immediately head for the school.

“Because they would let us know that the school is locked down. So, I would stay away until they tell us it’s time to come get them,” she said.

Even if parents got a text from their student, they are supposed to wait until they are notified to go to the reunification center to reduce chaos. The school and first responders need parents to be patient and calm, as they were today.

“We plan for these things,” Cutler said. “We hope very much that it never happens in our community. But, if it does, we are prepared and we are ready to go in and make sure your children are safe.”

This drill should help the school, parents and first responders evaluate the reunification process and make any necessary changes.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Local News

(Andrew Adams/KSL TV)...
Eliza Pace

Two arrested in Glendale shooting

Two men were arrested Thursday for the fatal shooting of a 35-year-old man in the Glendale neighborhood
21 hours ago
A search is underway for Austin Madsen, 32, of Mapleton, Utah. (Mapleton Police Department)...
Shara Park

Search underway in Garfield County for missing father suffering mental health crisis

A desperate search is underway right now in Garfield County for a 32-year-old father from Mapleton, who was last heard from almost a week ago.
21 hours ago
...
Mike Anderson

Utah is developing a flying motorcycle

We live in a time, where inventions can be built at home and where 3D printers, and machining devices help realize dreams.
21 hours ago
FILE: The Utah State Capitol (Jason Olson, Deseret News Archives)...
Shelby Lofton

Utah lawmakers introduce school safety bills

Lawmakers have unveiled a number of school safety bills after hearing concerns from their constituents.
21 hours ago
...
Ashley Moser

Utah fifth grader successfully petitions to allow hats at his school

Manila Elementary School's policy allowed students to wear ball caps only on designated days. James Cope, 10, was not fond of that rule, so he started a petition.
21 hours ago
(SLCPD)...
Eliza Pace

Man stabbed to death in SLC

A man was killed in a stabbing Thursday on Main Street in Salt Lake City.
21 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

vintage photo of lighting showroom featuring chandeliers, lamps, wall lights and mirrors...
Lighting Design

History of Lighting Design | Over 25 Years of Providing Utah With the Latest Trends and Styles

Read about the history of Lighting Design, a family-owned and operated business that paved the way for the lighting industry in Utah.
Fiber Optical cables connected to an optic ports and Network cables connected to ethernet ports...
Brian Huston, CE and Anthony Perkins, BICSI

Why Every Business Needs a Structured Cabling System

A structured cabling system benefits businesses by giving you faster processing speeds and making your network more efficient and reliable.
notebook with password notes highlighted...
PC Laptops

How to Create Strong Passwords You Can Actually Remember

Learn how you can create strong passwords that are actually easy to remember! In a short time you can create new ones in seconds.
house with for rent sign posted...
Chase Harrington, president and COO of Entrata

Top 5 Reasons You May Want to Consider Apartment Life Over Owning a Home

There are many benefits of renting that can be overshadowed by the allure of buying a home. Here are five reasons why renting might be right for you.
Festive kitchen in Christmas decorations. Christmas dining room....
Lighting Design

6 Holiday Decor Trends to Try in 2022

We've rounded out the top 6 holiday decor trends for 2022 so you can be ahead of the game before you start shopping. 
Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to Choose What MBA Program is Right for You: Take this Quiz Before You Apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.
Granite School District practices reunifying parents, students in school emergency