“Murray” buckets are the new classroom essential


Hillary Currier

Emergency buckets, or “Murray” buckets, are ready to go to classrooms with a roll of toilet paper, an emergency blanket and a few first aid supplies inside. Administration supplied these bucket to teachers in case of a prolonged lockdown.

By Jared Debban, Sports Editor

New buckets, given to every teacher in the high school are a precautionary measure in the event of an extended lockdown. Inside each bucket are essentials such as a first aid kit and toilet paper in case students have a really small wound or need a place to use the restroom when they are unable to leave the classroom.

    Buckets as a part of emergency protocol isn’t a new idea around town. The idea was presented to administration by Murray Carlisle after he heard a story from a Beaverton school after their three hour lockdown led to the arising issue that students needed to use the restroom. “There was the lockdown at Beaverton and when administrators went into the classrooms, they discovered that the buckets were used as a bathroom,” U.S history teacher Murray Carlisle said.

    This issue was then brought to administration where it was picked up by associate principal Angelita Miller.

    Miller was in charge of the planning and purchasing of the buckets for every classroom. Inside each bucket there are safety supplies, a blanket that can be used as a screen and toilet paper. “The buckets are an available container for safety supplies but it also provides a visual so that in the event something happens, students know where to go,” Miller said.

    This is not unique to Portland, as districts across the nation are creating their own “Murray Buckets” for their classrooms. Schools across the nation, specifically the Brockton School District in Massachusetts have 1000 buckets for all of their classrooms. Their buckets have a hammer and rope to use as a weapon or as a tool in the event of an emergency along with basic safety supplies.  

    The supplies included in the Tigard bucket are what administration concluded were the very basics to roll out this new idea. Their goal would be to add some snacks and some bottled water so that there would be some food in case of an extended lockdown. They were able to get each bucket for around $2 from Lowe’s, and they found the best deal for the safety supplies through Amazon.

    For students, the idea is there, having the first aid, snacks, water and blankets would be helpful in the event of a lockdown. Where things fall short is potentially having to use the buckets as a portable bathroom. “It is good teachers have the buckets, but I don’t think students would use the buckets unless it was absolutely necessary,” senior John Tran said.

    During a lockdown, students and teachers are cast into a high anxiety situation with no idea how long a lockdown will last. These buckets are in an increased effort to provide more supplies for teachers and students. As these things are happening more and more in schools, having these supplies for students and teachers to use in the event of an emergency is becoming more important. According to the Washington Post 4 million students endured lockdowns last year.

    However, the buckets are not limited to just these supplies. “You want to think about convenience and anything you might need since you do not know how long the lockdown will last,” Security officer Brian Imus said. “Worst case though, you want to have things to help treat wounds such as gauze, bandages and tourniquets or school approved items to help defend yourself.”

    Miller wants students to know what to do with the buckets in the event that they are in a lockdown without an adult in the room with them.

    And about that name, “Murray” buckets?

    “If it brings comfort to a student in distress, then I am proud to have that be my legacy at Tigard High School,” Carlisle said.