BY LAURA LIERA Californian staff writer firstname.lastname@example.org
Teachers in the Kern High School District have a new item in their classroom this school year: a portable potty.
The toilet substitutes were put in 1,800 classrooms in the district. They are a part of FEMA's National Incident Management System that says each classroom should have a bathroom facility in case a lockdown forces students to stay inside.
KHSD spokesman John Teves said each emergency lockdown kit cost $20. It includes a five-gallon bucket, waste bags, a roll of duct tape, a blue tarp for privacy, 100 wet wipes, one roll of toilet paper, 10 latex gloves and an eight-pound bag of kitty litter.
Besides the new toilets in the classrooms, the district is in the process of installing new door handles that lock from the inside in all classrooms.
"It's safer in case of an emergency and we are also making sure every window has blinds because by law, in any incident, you have to turn off all the lights and close the blinds," Teves said.
Another new item for this school year is a communication device called School Messenger. Teves said this is a convenient way for the district to communicate with parents if an emergency happens. Parents can go to their child's school, ask for the messenger code and then sign up with that code on the KHSD website.
"Parents will receive a text message and an email in a matter of minutes so it's easier and it provides faster communication to everyone," Teves said.