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Students participate in active shooter drill

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They were told to stay calm and follow their teacher's instructions.

"Our teacher turns the lights off and we all just sat quiet for about ten minutes," said Dripping Springs 8th Grader Lily. "But our teacher didn't do anything. I thought we should answer, but then, it kind of kicked in that this was part of the drill."

This very realistic drill is supposed to simulate an active shooter situation at Dripping Springs Middle School.

"In my class, we had to move a couple of the desks so everyone could fit in the corner," added Lily.

Madelyn, another 8th grader, said, "We all went, as a class, to the corner next to the door, so you couldn't see in the door."

According to the unified response plan recently adopted by every school district in Hays County, students, teachers and other staff--in all about 1,300 people-- were asked to turn out the lights, lock all the doors and get out of the line of sight from the hallway.

Lily said, "It was kind of scary because we've never done a drill like this before."

"We've been doing lockdown drills for quite some time...since we've adopted the Hays County Standard Response Protocol System, for us, that meant the end of the drill was different with uniformed officers opening the room," said Principal Blake Hays. "We have the mentality of, this can happen here and I don't want to scare kids...but you have that, is it just a matter of time before something traumatic happens in your school."

Hays County and San Marcos Emergency Management hosted the active shooter scenario.

As area law enforcement, fire and EMS personnel carried out the drill in Hays County, a very real shooting was unfolding at a Colorado high school.

"I think our parents feel a little safe now that we actually did a real-life drill," added Lily.

Madelyn said, "We know exactly what to do if it did happen."

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