Most School’s Wouldn’t Know What To Do If A Shooter Walked In
A teacher from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, the Parkland, Florida school that recently suffered from a tragic shooting explains that every single teacher of the school had spoken to the students about what to do in a school shooting.
Melissa Falkwoski explains that she really does not see how the school could possibly have been more prepared. Somehow though, all their preparations and explanations were not enough. While Melissa managed to save the lives of nineteen students by barricading them shut inside a classroom closet, the gunman still killed seventeen people in the classrooms and hallways of the high school.
Since the Columbine shooting nineteen years ago, schools have increasingly been training their students to be ready for any situation and to know what to do if a shooter were to god forbid walk into their school. National guidance has even been issued by the federal government on what to do in a school shooting, with a run, hide and fight method. The methods instruct students in such a situation to try to run away and even confront the gunman if necessary.
But even with this, schools still remain highly unprepared for such a stressful and unexpected circumstance. There is also a great deal of disagreement about whether or not children should be encouraged to fight back.
A survey conducted in 2016 found that only 12 U.S states require their schools to have drills for school shooting situations. More than half of schools are not properly prepared according to John Curnutt, the assistant direction of the Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training Center at Texas State University. This program trains people how to handle these situations.
According to experts, students need a lot more then a drill here and there on how to evacuate or how to lockdown a classroom. Experts believe that schools need to make sure that regular conversations and training take place.
Approximately 67 percent of U.S schools have had at least one school shooting drill from 2012 to 2015. However in comparison to the 97 percent of schools that have had fire drills in this time period, the 67 percent is not so high, especially when looking the actual numbers of fatalities caused by both.
This disparity has been investigated, and it was found that some schools worry that such drills could cause high anxiety among students and parents. Perhaps people would rather chose to be in denial, and would prefer to simply hope for the best. Furthermore, there will always be disagreement among school about what is best to tell children.
Even with all things being said, Falkowski of Majory Stoneman Douglas High School believes that no amount of preparation would have saved them. She stresses that the government needs to address this problem and fix it before too many lives are lost.