The call came around 10 a.m. Thursday. Teachers at Southeast Elementary were told to implement lockdown procedures. Immediately the school went into lockdown mode, and within a matter of minutes the campus and students were secure.
Thursday's lockdown drill had been planned for weeks, but to teachers and students it was a surprise.
"The old saying ‘an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.’ And that's what we're trying to do is just be proactive in our prevention plan and just make sure our kids are safe," said Principal Ryan Powell.
Powell says these lockdown procedures are vital for any threat to students or faculty, or even a hostage or terror situation. He says each time schools run an emergency drill it’s another chance to perfect how it's done. Law enforcement officials agree.
"You know, if you make a mistake in training it’s a mistake you learn from. If you make a mistake with a real incident, then it could cost someone their life," said Lauderdale County Chief Deputy Ward Calhoun.
Officials say the recent rash of school shootings brought home the need to be prepared for anything. Powell was on staff with Northeast Schools in May during a real lockdown situation. He says you can never pretend it couldn't happen at your school.
"It's just a reality. It’s something we hope and pray we never have to face but if we do face it. You know, we just want to be prepared," said Powell.
Powell says the drill went according to plan. Plus, he says next time it will run even smoother.