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Shippensburg School District to conduct emergency critical incident response drill Monday

SHIPPENSBURG — The Shippensburg Area School District will continue with plans to conduct a Emergency Exercise Critical Incident Response drill on Monday with members of Shippensburg Borough and Shippensburg University police, the district announced Friday.

In a post on its Facebook page, the school district said it has had numerous internal discussions on whether to continue as planned, in light of the recent tragedy in Las Vegas and its impact on the Shippensburg community. Bill Wolfe Jr., an elementary wrestling coach at Shippensburg, was one of the victims killed in the mass shooting.

The district eventually decided to continue with the drill as planned.

“We have determined it is in our best interests to continue the drill as planned for Monday, October 9,” the statement reads. “Events such as those occurring in Las Vegas highlight the importance for our staff to be fully trained and preparred for crisis events that could occur within the school setting.”

Monday’s drill is for members of the teaching staff and administration, the statement says. Shippensburg students are out of school for an in-service day. But, the district says, lessons learned will be incorporated into future school drills.

“We are also sensitive to the fact that some staff may still be on their own journey of healing and recovery with the recent national and local losses,” the district’s statement continues. “As such, we have provided all staff with the opportunity to participate only as they are able, with alternative assignments available to those who do not wish to participate in the drill.

“Additionally, for those staff that do choose to participate in the drill, we have ensured the on-site availability of district and community counseling resources so that those experiencing any degree of distress may seek immediate assistance.”

The district reminds residents that there could be an increase in police, fire and ambulance traffic around Shippensburg Middle School during the drill. The exercise is not open to the public, the district says.