Sometimes emergencies find their way into schools, like the lock down at Illini Central after reports of a gun on campus. One parent at that scare said, "You always think that it's not going to happen to you. It's not going to happen here."
"That's a mindset you want to try and avoid. If you talk to the different schools where this has happened, I'm sure they, I mean, nobody plans on this happening," said Scott Dearman, superintendent of Deer Creek-Mackinaw schools.
He said after recent events at Illini Central, and the shooting at Normal Community High School, small schools need to know what to do in a crisis.
"We had practiced the day before this happened in unit 5, so when it happened at unit 5, I took a step back and said, OK, we just went through this yesterday. Here's a situation, how does that apply to what we just went through," Dearman said.
Dee-Mack's emergency protocol is to lock down, call police and make sure students are safe. Then Dearman can log onto a website and get the message out to parents. He can send out alerts in an email, text message, or automated voice message. All parents are registered to get them at the beginning of the year.
Dearman said there's no specific time to tell parents, but it needs to be done as soon as possible, taking police suggestions into account. But when it comes down to it, he makes that final call.
"It's my choice on how that all goes out, in that situation the more information, the better, I would send out all of it to everyone at one time," he said.
With annual emergency practices with authorities, Dearman said he thinks his district is prepared for the unexpected.