Children Safety: What’s the difference between a school lockdown and a lockout


Several schools were placed on a lockout Monday afternoon while police searched for a suspected burglar in nearby neighborhoods. FOX21 took a deeper look at security measures Colorado schools use to keep students safe.  

Police reported that someone tried to burglarize a home in northeastern Colorado Springs neighborhood, near multiple schools. When police arrived the suspect was gone and a search of the nearby area was conducted. 

Around 12:45 p.m. Monday afternoon three schools nearby the home on Mira Loma Circle were placed on a lockout. Russell Middle, Keller Elementary and Fremont Elementary Schools.     

This is the second criminal incident that has caused schools to be placed on lockout so far this school year. 

District 11 spokesperson, Devra Ashby, said a lockout is the most common security protocol. 

“It really doesn’t have anything to do with the school, other than we want to make sure the school, is as safe as possible, the students are as safe as possible,” said Ashby. “A lot doesn’t change other than you can’t have recess outside or outside PR classes or anything like that. It’s business as usual inside the classroom inside the school.” 

However, in the event of an active shooter situation, the school would go into lockdown. 

“Now a lockdown is if there is something that is causing a threat inside the school,” Ashby said.  

During a lockdown, the goal is to keep kids in their classroom, out of sight and away from windows and doors.  

“We actually practice all of these drills with our schools on a monthly basis,” said Ashby.  

District 11 along with others district in the Pikes Peak region use the Standard Response Protocol (SRP) terminology.  

This is the first year D-11 is using the SRP program. 

“It doesn’t change too much of what we actually do but the advantage to it here in El Paso County puts all of the school districts with the police and sheriff’s department will all be using the same terminology. I think that will be less confusing to the general public and to our police partners,” Jim Hastings head of security at District 11.  

Ashby also encouraged everyone to be vigilant. 

“See something report it immediately to school staff person SRO to police make sure we are keeping our schools safe and that is a community-wide effort,” Ashby said.  

D-11 said when one of these happen parents will be alerted through emails, texts, app push notification, posts on social media and sometimes, in very serious situations, a phone call as well.

This protocol is also used by Widefield District 3, Harrison District  2, Academy District 20, Cheyenne Mountain District 12,  Lewis-Palmer School District 38, and Peyton School District 23.

District 49 uses similar definitions for lockout and lockdown.  

Pueblo City Schools uses different terminology closed campus, secure perimeter, lockdown, and evacuation. The definitions are below.  

Closed Campus –
normal conditions under which a school operates during the day, all 
visitors check in at the office, perimeter is secured but visitors can check in 

Secure Perimeter –
modified lockdown that allows schools to operate normally inside but 
does not allow for entry/exit from a school building to include parents, visitors, and students

Lockdown –
used to protect students, staff and visitors inside the building when conditions 
are too dangerous to allow entry/exit from a school building to include parents, visitors, and students

includes leaving the building but remaining on campus and off site evacuations 
if needed

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