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Should you participate in an active shooter drill? feature
27 Jul

Should You Participate in an Active Shooter Drill?

Because active shooter situations just happen, typically with no real warning or time to prepare, they require quick and controlled responses. One wrong move can cost many lives in these fatal situations, and sometimes what they teach you to do in training isn’t common sense. As these situations increase in frequency, it’s becoming more and more important for you to be prepared and know how to react.

When you find yourself in an active shooter situation, you might freeze up. You won’t have time to think, so you should be prepared and know what to do so well that it’s your first reaction – no thought necessary.

You should take an active shooter safety class because….

  • Being prepared improves your chances of survival if you’re in a dangerous situation
  • You train your body how to respond, so that when you’re surprised and scared, you still react properly
  • Practicing how to respond in emergency situations makes people feel safer (Source)
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The school set off the alarms and teachers closed their doors, and while it was pre-planned, students still reported feeling scared. One student who was “shot” during the simulation said she walked out into the hall, saw the shooter, and froze. Even with a fake weapon, that student was unable to react.

The drill was conducted after most of the school went home on early dismissal. Only 69 students remained in the school to serve as volunteer victims for the simulation. These drills are directed to the teachers and law enforcement officers, to help them develop strategies for dealing with future problems in the school. However, students who participated in the simulation unanimously felt they benefitted from it.

The student previously mentioned, despite her fear and sobbing after she was “shot”, said she was glad she volunteered. She felt like if she was ever in that situation, now she wouldn’t just stand there. She would move, she would do something.

Some teachers, during this drill, realized their doors wouldn’t even lock and were faced with an ethical dilemma: if a student is banging on the door, asking to be let in, what do you do? In the case of the simulation, the shooter forced the student to bang on the doors. Would you let the student in and face an altercation with the shooter?

These drills prepare people for ethical decisions and split-second moves they have to make in these active shooter situations. While they have the potential of traumatizing children, they should be required for teachers and school administrators so they can be prepared for anything an active shooter situation may force them to face.

Would you benefit from realistic simulations and trainings like the one conducted at Troy Buchanan High School?

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