Thursday, August 07, 2014

It's been quite the whirlwind of back-to-school activity around here -going to meetings, laminating things, participating in active shooter training, and planning out the first week.

Which one of those things doesn't seem to belong?

Who would ever have thought that part of back-to-school activities would include learning how to evade, escape, and engage an "active killer"? (The terminology used during our training). As the title suggests - the 4th "E" is educate - which is what we learned today.

I learned quite a bit today from St. Louis County's Finest, things like:

  • Active killers have no specific profile - it can be just about anyone. 99% of the time the active killer is known to the victims.
  • No child has died in a school due to fire since 1958, when 3 nuns and 92 children died in a school fire in Chicago. This incident is why schools are required by law to have fire drills and safety plans. 
  • Interestingly enough, there have been 15 school shootings since Sandy Hook Elementary in Dec. 2012 - "a rate of about one every 5 weeks," according to this CNN.com article. As of July 1, 2014 is required by Missouri law to have only ONE mandatory drill each school year.
  • There are many more options than just locking the door and hiding when an "active killer" has entered campus.
Overall, our 4 hour training was pretty intense. We worked through four scenarios, three that included hearing/witnessing gunfire from a cap gun - one that looked incredibly real. I can't say that I was surprised by my reactions when faced with gunfire - I immediately ducked for cover/tried to get away. With that kind of reaction with only adults around, I was left asking myself, "Is that going to be my same reaction when I have twenty 6th graders in my care?" 

There were a lot of other questions that unfortunately didn't have black and white answers. We're only beginning to scratch the surface of what our protocols will looks with an "active killer" in the building.

While the training today left me more empowered than I have ever been before when thinking about an intruder situation, it also left me terrified.

Welcome back.

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