Campus safety: lookout and lockdown

When it comes to campus safety, two events are often misunderstood or confused with one another: the Lockout and the Lockdown. Both of these safety procedures occur due to a potential threat on or near campus but differ on the severity of the situation.

A lockout is declared when a potential hazard happens directly off campus. Consider it securing the school’s perimeter. During a lockout students are asked to make there way to the nearest classroom and continue their business as usual. Teachers and staff are asked to recover students and staff from outside of their building, increase situational awareness of what is happening, take account for students, and continue business as usual.

An example of a lockout situation would be a robbery in a store across campus or a police chase on a street outside school. These are situations which don’t directly involve the school, but could if the situation escalates. This is why it’s important for students to get inside and be taken account of by staff. –

A lockdown is a situation in which a known threat or hazard has been identified on campus. This is a more immediate emergency than a lockout. During a lockdown, students are expected to move away from sight, stay silent, and prepare to evade or defend from a potential threat. Staff are expected to lock interior doors, turn off the lights, move away from sight, stay silent, and prepare to evade or defend from a potential threat.

Lockdowns are generally ordered due to an intruder, violent student, domestic issue or an active shooter situation. It is imperative students and staff be aware of the access points to the classroom, keep doors shut until an “all clear” notice has been issued by an emergency responder, and be ready to evacuate and or defend through unconventional means. This could mean exiting through a window or using a classroom object to defend yourself.

Understanding the difference between a lockout and a lockdown is an important step in helping keep Mesa Community College a safe place for everyone. Remember to update the contact information in your phone with the campus police dispatch number (480-784-0911), and update your personal contact information in the Student Information Systems in order to receive accurate information in case of an emergency.

About Author

Brock Blasdell is a student journalist from Mesa, Arizona. He was hired onto the Mesa Legend in late 2018 as an Opinions Editor, and soon became the publication’s News Editor in 2019. He is now an Alumnus Correspondent for the paper. His writings emphasize college history, civil involvement, and personal reflection on modern American issues, while also analyzing and critiquing the role of modern media in national politics. Twitter @Brockblasdell