Schools across the globe are rewriting their insecurity protocols in response to the rising number of active shooting cases that are taking place in learning institutions. Unfortunately, most schools are getting it all wrong by subscribing to one standard technique that is used in a million other schools. But, the simple truth is that the ‘one size fits all’ technique does not apply to an active shooter scenario. The reason for this is that the adopted protocol needs to reflect the individual school’s design, the total number of students and staff members and most importantly the response time of the local law enforcement.
A lockdown procedure that is flawless on paper or during one of your scheduled drills can have quite a number of loopholes when tested by an actual active shooter incident. Here are some effective tips for active shooter training for schools.
Adopt more than one active shooter response procedure to avoid failure
Sticking to only one process raises your chances of failure in the event of an actual active shooter situation. Much of this is because most administrators like to buy time before they can declare an event to be an actual threat. Unfortunately, this can easily see a situation that could have easily been controlled get out of hand and lose a lot of lives. Having different levels of lockdown protocols will help catch a threat in its early stages.
A well-rehearsed protocol can quickly turn deadly because the staff members confuse the different codes they are supposed to shout out. Remember, an active shooter event is extremely stressful and having to remember and articulate particular codes is almost impossible. Codes that might seem simple can turn deadly during an attack. Schools are better off with speaking out the situation as it is and offering commands and responses using ordinary language.
Staff members should have access to keys and be taken through regular drills
When a lockdown situation is warranted, closing all the exits in time can save all the lives of the students and staff within the premise. The converse holds true; if a certain door can’t be locked just because the person in charge is nowhere in sight, the result can be a lot of bloodshed that could have otherwise been prevented. At the same time, staff members should be taken through drills on a regular basis to ensure they know exactly what to do during an emergency.
The students need to be taken through drills that train them on evacuating a room as fast as possible when faced with a threat. The run, hide and fight technique can also be used to build their confidence when confronted with an emergency, so they know exactly what they need to do.