Staff Editorial

Play Rehearsal

Staff discusses preparation for active shooters

Every school district struggles with the same question: How do you create a drill that is effective but still safe?

Most people react to announced lock down drills with a sigh of relief that they get out of class or a groan of annoyance that they can’t go into the hallways. Either way, the reactions aren’t anywhere close to the feeling of a true intruder situation.

Yet unannounced intruder and lock down drills can  result in a completely different issue: widespread panic.  In Winter Haven, Florida, one such drill involved two policemen carrying a real AK-15 and pistol entering the school and telling teachers and students that it was a drill, according to ABC News. However, lack of clarity caused panic amongst students, teachers and parents who were unable to tell whether the policemen were being serious.

Even further, students recovering from PTSD may make this bad idea an even worse one.

These two options make it extremely difficult for the administration to create a drill to prepare students, but that doesn’t mean an effective drill isn’t important.

The first and most important step toward greater safety is education and awareness. For many of us, we don’t know what to do if there would be a school shooting. The first reaction would be to panic. Even from what we’ve learned in the past, the ‘correct’ reaction would be to turn off the lights and hide. This differs drastically from the current procedures, which say that escaping, or running, is actually the best first action.

Teachers and administrators should be explaining their expectations for students in the event of a school shooting, instead of letting us rely on old, and no longer true, information.

Until students and teachers engage in conversation about what should be done in those situations, students can and will stay naïve.

As for all students, take the time to look up what the best possible strategies are or take a look at current strategies on pgs. 22-23, because a school shooting can happen regardless of whether we’ve been taught how to deal with it. Unlike that assignment you plead ignorance of  to try to receive an extension, be ready in case disaster truly strikes.