Lockdowns: Have They Progressed Post-Columbine?

If safety is always paramount for every school, which it should be, then why do some school administrators and teachers cringe at the terms “lockdown drills” or “active threat training?”

In every school mission statement that I have read there is always a common ethos: “that every child learns in a safe environment”. I have noticed a striking similarity in these mission statements as they list safety as part of their first objective.

Are Schools Really Prepared Today?

In present time, school leaders should be ahead of the curve when it comes to school safety and security.  Unfortunately, my experience as someone who facilitates drills at schools is a lack of school preparation for an active threat on campus. Schools face misdirected attention, budget cuts, complacency and denial. As a result, schools have drifted backwards when it comes to school safety post-Columbine.

With an alarming number of school killings since Columbine, not all states mandate lockdown drills. Many schools may only conduct one to two other “safety drills” (this can include not only lockdown drills, but natural disaster drills) per year, and practice fire drills once a month.

The many aspects of the cause and effect of mass killings need to work simultaneously together, not independently. Routinely training staff proper lockdown drill response, as they do for a fire drill, can lead to lower stress if and when an incident should occur. Practicing once or twice a year may ease the concern of some school administrators, but it is not enough. Administrators need to schedule these drills once per month for maximum effectiveness.

Implement an Individualized Plan

School staff must feel empowered to act by implementing an individualized plan in order to mitigate mass casualties at a school. School administrators are responsible for providing an emergency plan for an active threat. They also must inform their staff of the plan. Staff need to practice regularly and seek additional training to become efficient in active threat response. Budget constraints should not prevent our schools from progressing with school safety preparedness. Through grants, organized fundraisers, careful planning and working with members of the PTA to get the community involved, schools can take action.

In Conclusion,

I am extremely concerned that we, as a country, are becoming desensitized to these events. We are seeing news coverage regularly from somewhere in this country concerning a school or workplace violence incident. Tragedies like these are not going away and may continue to get worse. Be a driving force to push for monthly lockdown drills and training for an active threat at your child’s school!

To learn more about preparing your school please visit our homepage, scroll down to the video and watch our Free Training: 5 Immediate Actions You MUST Know When Confronted By an Active Shooter!

If you are ready to schedule a consultation with one of our specialists, click here , or call us at 954-654-8912.

About Steven S. Smith

Steven S. Smith, the President and Founder of Guardian Defense, offers active shooter training programs to staff within schools, colleges, churches, law enforcement agencies, businesses, and hospitals; in order to build confidence and save time in the event of an intruder, active shooter or killer, or other terror attack. Mr. Smith is a current certified law enforcement officer and has a range of experience on school and public safety, and investigation work. He is currently a team leader and instructor on the SWAT Team, for which he joined in 2009. Mr. Smith graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology, with a concentration in Criminal Justice, in 2005 from Nova Southeastern University.