High School to Fire Blanks During Shooting Drill Starter pistol aims to familiarize kids with sound of gunfire By Evann Gastaldo, Newser Staff Suggested by Ballantyne Posted Jan 30, 2013 6:24 AM CST 24 comments Comments The high school will use blanks shot from a starter pistol for the drill. (Shutterstock) (Newser) – A Chicago-area high school has an unconventional safety drill slated for today: During its "code red drill," Cary-Grove High School is going so far as to have someone in the hallway shoot blanks from a starter pistol. The point? "To provide our teachers and students some familiarity with the sound of gunfire," said the principal in a letter. Teachers will keep students inside, with doors locked and curtains drawn, as police sweep the school. Students are aware of the drill, and there will be a PA announcement beforehand, the Northwest Herald reports. "The purpose is to take the Code Red drill one step further," explains the police chief, adding that "many" students have "never heard a gunshot before." Needless to say, parents don't think it's a great idea, CBS Chicago reports. Some point out that not all guns sound alike; one calls it "sick." Others are in favor: "Nowadays it’s better to be safe than sorry," says one; a school spokesperson claims they've heard from as many supportive parents as dissenting ones, and adds, "Any step we can take to give them an advantage in a crisis situation is a step we should be taking."