School violence is nothing unusual anymore. Each day we send our children to the one place we believe and trust they will be safe: school. However, our society has experienced an increase in violence in our children’s schools at an overwhelming rate.
Our schools recognize that preparation mentally and physically for an intruder or violent attack is paramount to save lives and minimize mass casualties.
The National Center for Education reported, in 2012, that students ages 12–18 were victims of about 1,364,900 nonfatal victimization at school. Just under 750K were violent victimization; 89,000 of which were serious violent victimization.
School Violence: Sandy Hook Elementary School Massacre
Our country was stunned following the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary in 2012. Plain and simple. School staff, parents and their communities scrambled, worried, hesitated, and second-guessed all plans and procedures that they had in place- or thought that they had in place. A chain reaction was set off as concerned parent inundated administrators’ voicemails and email boxes. Some schools increased security; and some schools welcomed their local law enforcement agency in to conduct active shooter scenarios for their officers. Close to zero schools remained the same.
We cannot change the past incidents of school violence and we cannot predict the future, but we can learn from them. Horrific tragedies such as Sandy Hook, Columbine and Virginia Tech have taught us how we can become better as a nation at preparing for threats and violence within our schools. Through analysis, dissection and review we learn many ways to plan and prepare our teachers and staff to combat these cowardice, yet devastating attacks.
With proper planning and routine drilling by schools and teachers, a threat, such as an active killer can be stopped and the life of YOUR child can be saved.
The reality is that school violence and mass killings at schools will not stop.
No matter how well a school believes they are hardened or strong on the outside with security, it will ultimately determine how “hard” each individual teacher is mentally and physically prepared, on the inside, to react to this type of incident.
Active Killers Are Dangerous – They Are Willing To Die
Active killers are especially dangerous because they are willing to die for whatever cause they believe in (bullying, religious, etc.). It is critical that every teacher and staff member understand that any physical resistance (armed or unarmed) or barriers could stop the threat and saves lives.
On average, active killer incidents last between 10-15 minutes. Although police are near, typically by the time police arrive the damage is already done. In many cases, the culprit either surrenders or commits suicide.
With such a short time frame, teachers and staff must have a plan in place to take action. Strategies such as barriers, positioning, and arming oneself to prepare for an attack can disrupt the attackers plan. Time-saving strategies allows first responders to arrive and deal with the threat. The end result is mitigating mass casualties and winning this attack.
School Violence Is A Problem And Will Continue
Within our nation, schools are mandated to conduct and practice for fire drills on a monthly (and sometimes less than monthly) basis. Additionally, much of school construction costs include fire code mandates.
We have witnessed the positive outcome of these actions because this country has not lost a single child in a school fire since 1958. We give tremendous credit to the national response to planning, construction and drilling in our schools in the prevention of fires and fire-related deaths.
On the topic of preparation and prevention of mass causalities in schools, we have more work to do.
The National Center for Education Statistics reported, from July 1, 2010, through June 30, 2011, there were 31 school-associated violent deaths in elementary and secondary schools in the United States.
The majority of public schools may conduct one lockdown drill a year and private schools may go a whole calendar year without a single lockdown drill. In some of these schools, the staff are not even familiar with their lockdown codes and procedures. We encourage taking that same enthusiasm and energy that was placed on fire drilling, and placing a great emphasis on the way we protect our children and their caregivers from threats.
Click the link to view our free lockdown drill procedures checklist for administrators.
What Makes Our Active Shooter Training For Schools, Teachers And School Staff Outstanding
What do you think school staff need in order to make an effective decision during a time of crisis?
We believe confidence.
Confidence to make a split decision and carry it through. That is what our active shooter training for schools does for school administration, teachers and staff. Participants in our training leave the Active Threat Response Program for Schools feeling that they have been provided with the tools that are needed to handle critical situations. They will demonstrate their understanding of the material presented and exhibit the mindset that is needed to protect themselves and others.
Pair our training model with our exceptional team and you will quickly realize what makes our company outstanding!