The Mysterious Blue Bucket

The Troy School District’s recent security updates and how people around the school feel about our safety.

Over the past few years, the Troy School District has drastically changed its security systems and emergency protocol from the “sitting under a desk and hiding” tactic to a more active defense plan. While most have practiced ALICE training and using the NightLock system, not everyone is aware of the new “go-buckets” that were added to every classroom and office at the beginning of the 2022-2023 school year.
The buckets contain various items that can be used in an emergency, including a hammer, wasp spray and, of course, toilet paper.
Assistant Principal Dan House discusses how these buckets came to be, “We had to go through the process of finding funding, voting on what items would be most helpful for safety and security,” he said. Essentially, district administration surveyed teachers around the district, asking them what objects they would like to have handy in an emergency, and then compiled a collection of useful items based on their feedback.
“Even the bucket itself is a functional thing,” House said, going on to explain that it could be thrown at an assailant or used to safely hold a confiscated weapon without touching it. And yes, it could be used as a poop bucket.
Noelle Wald, forensic science teacher, gives a teacher’s perspective into the introduction and application of the go-buckets and other safety procedures, “We talk about things at staff meetings,” she said. “They’ll let us know if there is a drill coming up or what has been implemented into the building as far as policies.”
While Wald reports that, although there is regular communication with teachers in relation to safety issues, she is unsure if students receive the same degree of communication.
“Definitely more practice would be beneficial,” Wald said. “I think when staff are asked to do the drills, it’s important to actually follow through on what’s expected. I think that we talk about things but unless you practice with it, you’re not completely ready to go into action.”
Despite this concern, Wald expressed satisfaction with the district’s new updates.
“I’m more confident than ever,” she said. “I feel much more confident since they put in the NightLock. I think it has been very comforting to people because it takes away that uncertainty.”
Ultimately, while catchy, the go-bucket is only one safety measure among many others.
“Trying to get students prepared for different scenarios is more important than what’s actually in the bucket,” House said, emphasizing the importance of the ALICE training, which teaches students to make quick decisions about how to protect themselves and their peers rather than following a strict set of rules.
“I’m confident that somebody, hopefully, will think on their feet,” House said, “Sitting in one place and hiding under furniture is not the way to do it.”
Referencing a training session with a school resource officer playing the role of an attacker, he said, “We were able to take him down because people threw stuff at him, someone turned the lights off.” This kind of quick, fight-or-flight thinking is what will actually protect students and staff from an active threat.
House assures students of the district’s commitment to safety.
“There’s a lot of things I hope never, ever, ever happen, but to think about it is really important.,” he said. “We’ll continue to do the drills, we’ll keep getting trained. We’re very vigilant just to keep Troy High as safe as we possibly can.”