Fairfield, SC (WLTX) - Since the Florida school shooting more importance has been placed on drills and how schools prepare for an emergency. A school shooting has become an all too real occurrence, and students and staff at Fairfield Central High School say they want to make sure they're prepared.
News 19 asked a group of six Fairfield Central students if school safety has been on their minds lately. All six raised their hands. It goes to show just how much the teen experience has changed.
"It's sort of being normalized that oh yea, you could be shot at school," said 12th grader Mercedez Carpenter.
"I think it's been on everyone's mind on how to better protect schools, because you don't want to turn them into fortresses or prisons, but then you still have that threat," said 12th grader Trace Swann.
That means they have to prepare. The six students we spoke to believe Fairfield Central does a good job of it.
"We turn the lights off, the doors are locked, then we go to a wall and stay quiet," said 10th grader Dhavni Patel.
Just going through it, though, makes them think.
"It makes you feel a little bit frightened as to what possibly could happen," Swann said.
"Our teachers and our administration we've worked hard to make sure they won't be hurt," said Chanda Jefferson, who's been teaching for seven years.
Jefferson says she never imagined she'd be going through drills like this when she became a teacher, but has grown to take them seriously.
"We're taking this as if it's happening right now," Jefferson said. "You need to silence your phone, we need to turn off the light, block the doorways, you know get out of sight."
Jefferson says the practice will hopefully keep the students calm if they ever truly faced an active shooter.
"You're armed with the knowledge of what to do and how to protect yourself," Swann said.
"You'd never think it would happen, but it always can," 10th grader Sheldon Johnson said.