Hawthorne Lock Down, Secure in Place Guide for Parents

Secure In Place:

A Secure In Place is a building-wide response in which all exterior doors are locked and students are not on the playground.  


A Secure In Place protects students and staff from a possible threat outside the building.

A Secure In Place is used when a possible threat exists outside the building.  Example:  A suspicious person is suspected to be in the neighborhood of a school.  

During a Secure In Place Teachers/ Staff will continue normal classroom and interior school activities.  Students may be released to other classes and the bathroom.  Any playground activities should be stopped and students moved into the building for classroom activities and teaching.

Secure in place and Lock Down procedures are dynamic and at anytime a secure in place can become a Lock Down or vice versa if necessary.

School will remain in Secure In Place status until notified by law enforcement or central office. Teachers/ Staff are asked to keep students off of personal cell phones. Updated information will be provided by school e-mail system, phones, etc.

If you come to your child’s school during a Secure In Place you may see a sign on the door that says: ATTENTION VISITORS: The school is temporarily in “Secure In Place” status. A phone number will be posted to call if you have questions.

Lock Down:

A Lock Down is a building-wide response in which all rooms are secured.

A Lock Down protects students and staff from a threat inside the building when it may be more dangerous to leave the building by Directed Evacuation than to stay in a secured room.

A Lock Down is used when it is safer to stay in an area that can be secured than to move through the building where the potential threat may be encountered and when there is minimal possibility of uncontrolled fire or explosion. Example: An armed intruder is in the building, or outside the building.

During a Lock Down Teachers/ Staff will lock doors and windows, lights are turned off and students are away from doors and windows and if possible on a secure wall in which they not visible to the threat, outside or inside. All teaching activities should stop. If Students are outside they will not enter the school but go a safe distance away from the school and wait for further direction.

If your school goes into a “real” lock down your student’s teacher will make the decision to barricade the room or to run. Teachers/ Staff are asked to keep students off of personal cell phones. Updated information will be provided by school e-mail system, phones, etc.

Parents if you hear that the school is in a lock down please avoid/refrain from texting your child asking them what is going on. This is distracting to teachers as we are working on trying to get students to silence their phone for their safety and to listen to their teacher’s instructions so they do not miss important information.

Many times the school will go into a lock down or secure in place with minimal information as to protect the students and staff in the building. Once in the lock down or secure in place know the school is working with law enforcement to get accurate information as to the events that are happening in the area around the school, and report or release information through a coordinated effort between the building principal and central office. Please keep in mind that media may not have all the accurate facts as to what is going on. If you have further questions or concerns please, contact your school principal.