This blog is meant to raise awareness of all concerned about school safety by asking questions and not to expose here any vulnerabilities a school may presently have.
There are a number of components to prepare the school for an Active Shooter such as: Physical Security, Overall Defense Training, Shooter Ambush Training, and Emergency Trauma care
With the emphasis and questions on PHYSICAL SECURITY:
The Single Point of entry: A physical barrier designed to funnel the shooter to the front door of a school and deny entry.
- Shooter will only approach the front door;
- Shooter is a person from outside the school;
- Does not account for any student who may have already brought a gun with them into school;
- Is there a protocol for hostage taking at the SPOE;
Duty Teacher’s Observations and Actions:
- Are there enough to cover the entire exterior;
- Are they strategically placed;
- Are they equipped with radios;
- Are they trained on what to look for;
- Suspect’s approaching school;
- Suspicious behavior;
- Shooter may be “Dressed” to kill;
- Carrying weapons in the open or in bags;
- What is their protocol should they spot something;
- How do they communicate the threat;
- How is a Code Red activated?
- Verbal warning over PA (Ft. Hood’s garble message);
- Designated audible alarm;
- Is every faculty/staff member and student aware of that sound;
- What is the staff protocol upon hearing the alarm for:
- Students outside the building;
- Students in hallways;
- Students inside the classroom;
- Restroom deadbolt;
- CODE RED Procedures:
- Anyone locked outside classrooms;
- Are students and faculty taught Tactical escapes from the facility/grounds;
- Do the students know where is the best place to be inside the classroom;
- Silence cell phones;
- Teacher’s computer away from the fatal funnel;
- Is the alarm monitored by an alarm company;
- Will the police dispatcher confirm alarm;
- Will local police respond;
- How does the staff report false alarms;
- How often is the alarm tested;
- How often do you drill Active Shooter alarm;
- Police should always be present and the drill announced with plenty of notice to everyone;
- There should never be a “surprise” A.S. drill;
- There should never be shots fired in any AS drill;
- How is an “All clear” signaled;
- What is the protocol for the All Clear signal.
Convenient Active Shooter Drills:
Are there drills that only occur during the most convenient times such as when the children are inside their respective classrooms?
Are the faculty and staff prepared to handle an active shooting event during the times when children are the most vulnerable: before school, during lunch or an assembly, or after school?
Are the duty teachers assigned to the exterior of the school prepared to quickly react (and have a plan) should they either notice a person with a gun or shots are fired during their duty time?
If these questions are not adequately answered by your child’s school, your school officials, school PTA, PTO, concerned Parents and/or Teacher’s group and you want to learn more, look for:
- My book “Shots Fired” Surviving an Active Shooter via Amazon.com;
- My next book “Disarm and Disable” The Active Shooter Survival Guide should be released in early 2020;
- Or, contact us for comprehensive training on Active Shooter Defense.