Mount increases active intruder drills

As gun violence continues in the Philadelphia area, local high schools compare their protocols for active intruder drills.


from @st_josephs_prep instagram

Using the impact and image of the Church of the Gesu in the background, students create a memorial to Philadelphians murdered by illegal guns

Kate Tannenbaum, Features Editor

Many Mounties have noticed an increase in the amount of active intruder drills and table top discussions that we have had since last year. 

“I think it’s helpful that we have so many active intruder drills because it shows that we will be prepared … Better to be safe than sorry,” Gabi Balaratna MSJA ‘26 said.

 But how do these new drills and discussions differ from the protocols and drills of other local area high schools? Students from Saint Joseph’s Prep, Merion Mercy Academy, and Haverford High School were interviewed to compare their experiences with active intruder drills to ours. 

According to Bethany Jesse HHS ‘23, Haverford High School has active intruder drills once a month, and students are taught where to sit in relation to the doors and how to properly utilize things around the room to protect and defend themselves. However, she claims that these drills are not always taken seriously by students and people struggle to follow protocol. 

Meanwhile, Merion Mercy Academy has lock down drills about once every three months, according to Ollie Currier MMA ‘23. She says that students are told in the morning if there will be a drill that day, and they are taken very seriously by students and faculty alike. 

However, multiple students at Saint Joseph’s Prep claim that they have not had any active intruder drills this school year. 

“I trust our security team very much, that’s why I’m not really worried about it, but I think it would be good to have [active intruder drills] maybe once a semester,” Will Vokolos SJP ‘25 said. 

This lack of drills seems surprising, especially considering the location of the school, but the Prep is well aware of the gun violence in their area. In fact, they held a memorial in March on the school’s lawn for victims who were murdered by illegal guns. 

“They were telling us about [the memorial] the week before, and I had an image of what it was going to look like in my head, but then I got there and it was crazy how many there were…it shouldn’t be like this,” Vokolos said.