Shooting at Perry Hall High School

U.S. Marshals and other special units guard Perry Hall High School after a student was shot by another student on the first day of school in Perry Hall Monday. (Kim Hairston, MCT / August 28, 2012)

With Monday's shooting just across the county line at Perry Hall High School, at least one Harford County school could see more emergency drills, although school and police officials generally said they do not expect any new security measures.

Perry Hall, home of Baltimore County's largest high school, is reeling after a 15-year-old student shot into students in the cafeteria on the first day of school, critically wounding one boy.

Robert Gladden Jr., of Kingsville, has been charged with attempted murder in the case.

The incident has all of Harford's schools and the school systems, as well as local police agencies, looking over their emergency plans and in some instances, trying to be better prepared to beefing up police presence.


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Students at The John Carroll School, the county's largest non-public school, might get more drills as a result of the incident, principal Madelyn Ball said Tuesday.

"Of course, it brings to mind that we need to practice more and practice different types of drills more," she said, adding that the incident is a reminder of the importance of students paying attention during such drills.

The school might mix up the drills or change the procedures in the middle of a drill, in light of the fluctuating procedures that unfolded in Perry Hall.

Ball noted the school had a lockdown that turned into an evacuation, and even the evacuation was adjusted because it was unsafe to exit through certain doors.

"I was very impressed with how well Perry Hall was able to safely get everyone out of the building," she said.

The beginning of a new school year is an appropriate time to highlight emergency procedures, she said.

"This is a good time to be thinking of those things because they are fresh in everyone's minds," she said.

John Carroll has emergency procedures in place for a variety of scenarios, including weather-related events.

Ball said a parent even asked last year about earthquake drills, after the rare Aug. 23 earthquake that hit the East Coast.

"We feel very confident in the plans that we have, and our prayers are certainly with the whole Perry Hall community," she said.

The county's public schools system has not made any specific changes, but the Bel Air Police Department did provide more officers for Bel Air middle and high schools Tuesday, deputy police chief Richard Peschek said Tuesday.

'Staff remain vigilant'

Harford County Public Schools has a critical incident plan for each school and conducts drills every year, spokeswoman Teri Kranefeld said.

"HCPS staff remain vigilant and continue to implement the security procedures that have been established to keep our buildings safe," she said via e-mail.

The school system also has an "excellent working relationship" with local and state emergency officials and "active-shooter" drills are conducted with key players, she said.

Each high school has a resource officer who also serves the feeder elementary and middle schools, and no weapons are allowed on school property or buses, she said.