Shooter Awareness in Schools

This is where I blog, where I write, where I connect with the world.  It’s where I spent about half my day today.

The other half I spent watching news coverage of the tragic school shooting in Ohio.  I kept checking my Twitter stream and Facebook, but all I saw were references to the Academy Awards and Blissdom.  It was surreal.  Has students being shot and killed by other students become so commonplace that we don’t even notice anymore?  I wanted to drive to my youngest son’s middle school and bring him home.  I wanted to tell my son in college to come home immediately.  I watched on TV as a father stood outside the school, cell phone in hand, unable to reach either of his children, unsure of their safety.

“Teachers!”  I thought, “Teachers must be trained in what to do in these situations.  It was some brave teacher who chased the shooter from the building.  I’ll ask teachers what I should tell my son, what he should do if, God forbid, this ever happens in his school.”  So I posted a request to Facebook, and got an almost immediate reply.  Not from a teacher, but from my wonderful niece, Lauren . . . in Ohio.  She forwarded me the poster below.  Click on the link for the full-color original document, or read the text below.  Thank you, Lauren, so much!  I showed it to John and discussed it with him, and I encourage those of you with school-age children to do the same.

Active Shooter Poster – School

ACTIVE SHOOTER AWARENESS IN SCHOOLS

QUICKLY DETERMINE THE MOST REASONABLE WAY TO PROTECT YOUR OWN LIFE. STUDENTS ARE LIKELY TO
FOLLOW THE LEAD OF TEACHERS AND OTHER STUDENTS DURING AN ACTIVE SHOOTER SITUATION

1. EVACUATE
• Have an escape route and plan in mind
• Leave your belongings behind
• Keep your hands visible

2. HIDE OUT
• Hide in an area out of the active shooter’s view
• Block entry to your hiding place and lock the doors

3. TAKE ACTION
• As a last resort and only when your life is in imminent danger
• Attempt to incapacitate the active shooter
• Act with physical aggression and throw items at the active shooter

CALL 911 WHEN IT IS SAFE TO DO SO

1. HOW YOU SHOULD REACT WHEN LAW ENFORCEMENT ARRIVES:
• Remain calm, and follow officers’ instructions
• Lay on ground and wait for help
• Place your hands away from your body and spread fingers
• Do not make any sudden moves or run for first responders
• Do not stop to ask officers for help of direction when evacuating, just proceed in the direction from which officers are entering the premises
• Avoid pointing, screaming and/or yelling

2. INFORMATION YOU SHOULD PROVIDE TO LAW ENFORCEMENT OR 911 OPERATOR:
• Location of the active shooter
• Number of shooters, if more than one
• Physical description of shooter/s
• Number/type of weapons held by the shooter/s
• Number of potential victims at the location
• Closest facility entrance to shooter

RECOGNIZING SIGNS OF POTENTIAL SCHOOL VIOLENCE

AN ACTIVE SHOOTER MAY BE A CURRENT OR FORMER STUDENT. ALERT YOUR TEACHER, COUNSELOR, OR PRINCIPLE IF YOU BELIEVE A STUDENT IN YOUR CLASS EXHIBITS POTENTIALLY VIOLENT BEHAVIOR.

INDICATORS OF POTENTIALLY VIOLENT BEHAVIOR MAY INCLUDE ONE OF THE FOLLOWING:
• Increased use of alcohol and/or illegal drugs
• Unexplained increase in absenteeism, and/or vague physical complaints
• Depression/Withdrawal
• Increased severe mood swings, and noticeably unstable or emotional responses
• Increasingly talks of problems at home
• Increase in unsolicited comments about violence, firearms, and other dangerous weapons & violent crimes

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3 thoughts on “Shooter Awareness in Schools”

  1. Is it not just a sad, sad world when this kind of stuff has to clutter the minds of school kids.

    I remember hearing my parents talk about how “times just aren’t the same” when I was growing up.

    I think I now know what they meant by that.

  2. My senior year of high school was when all this started. (Columbine was during my first year of college.) It’s tragic to think that in the 14 years I’ve been out of high school, things have deteriorated to this.

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