LOCKDOWN SCARE: Students Back To Class

In addition to Merrill Middle School, four other Des Moines schools were placed on lockdown Tuesday during a two hour long manhunt.

Wednesday school officials are reviewing the district’s safety procedures to see what went well and what could be improved.

Everything was back to normal at Merrill Middle School, Wednesday.

Katie O’Conner’s grandson attends Merrill and says she’s happy with how the school handled the incident.

“I thought it went really well we saw the Principal come in and out several times and talk to people and keep the updates going from that stand point I thought it went really well,” says O’Conner.

The staff at Merrill met Wednesday morning to talk about how to handle questions from students.

“Any student that wanted to come talk to a counselor or someone at the school, they`d be allowed to do that, but the kids seem to be really, really resilient,” says Phil Roeder with Des Moines Public Schools.

Merrill Principal Alex Hanna says the students are doing fine.

He says staff will continue to assess the response to the threat and the district will hold a similar meeting.

“I think all in all yesterday went well especially because it was so complicated. We`re in the education business and if there is something to learn, if there is a lesson to be picked up from what happened yesterday we`re going to apply it,” says Roeder.

One area that may need improvement is what to do when a lockdown occurs during dismissal.

“You had parents arriving to pick up their students you had school buses arriving and it`s kind of a hectic, congested time of the day at schools so those factors made it a little bit more complicated,” says Roeder.

O’Conner says she talked to her grandson about what happened, but he’s proof kids are resilient. She says his mind was elsewhere.

“The dance was yesterday so he was real excited about the dance and he was more worried about missing that then anything,” says O’Conner.

Iowa law doesn’t require lockdown drills at schools, but the Des Moines School District says drills take place at each of its schools at least twice a year.