BRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WECT) - The entire student body at Jessie Mae Monroe Elementary School in Ash boarded buses and left campus Friday morning – not for a field trip, but to practice how they would evacuate in the case of an emergency.
A "fire" in one of the school's wings served as the scenario for the exercise. After evacuating the building, students and staff got on eight buses bound for Brunswick Community College's satellite campus a few miles away.
After arriving at the center, teachers took roll and Principal Helen Otto praised the approximately 400 students for staying on their best behavior during the drill.
"I just want to say, you did an awesome job," she said. "And we just feel so much more comfortable now that we will be prepared just in case we would need to go off campus."
The school's resource officer, Sgt. Adam Stanley of the Brunswick County Sheriff's Office, worked with Otto to organize the drill.
In addition to a fire, he said students and staff might have to leave the campus in the aftermath of an active shooter situation or a natural disaster like a tornado.
Stanley was pleased that the buses loaded with students and staff arrived at the BCC South Brunswick Islands Center 30 minutes after the alarm was activated at Jesse Mae Monroe.
"Now's the time for us to go back and debrief," Stanley said. "What went right, what went wrong, what could we do better. For the first time, I believe in my professional opinion, that it went very well."