This past Thursday - an issue came up that hit very close to home - and my concern is high - so I'm posting this simultaneously on the Self-defense, Women's and Kid's forums - so that I get as much feedback as possible - it relates to all three forums - specifically for parents and children.
Thursday last - at my daughter's high school - a disgruntled student was overheard threatening to take teachers and students hostage by gunpoint - the students who overheard reported it to school officials and an investigation resulting in the arrest of the threatening student ensued...
Letters were sent home that downplay the incident considerably in comparison to media reports and student accounts... I'm sure legal issues had a lot to do with the phrasing of the letter. With regards to advice from DeBecker's latest, <i>Protecting the Gift</i>, he gives a list of concerns to address in a letter to the school about their security measures - to this point the school seems to comply with most if not all of his questions/recommendations - but my reason for this post is this:
After hearing about this incident - I discussed with my daughter what she would do if she heard gunfire at her school during various times - while in a classroom, in the hallway, at lunch, etc. She initially had no ideas - which alerted me how much we get complacent living in the relatively "safe" community that we do - even though she is bombarded by my constant referrals to DeBecker and other self-defense materials, classes and discussions - the topic of what to do if faced with a serious situation at school does not seem to be well addressed!
My recommendations to her were these:
If hearing gunfire while in a classroom - get to the floor - crawl under a desk - try to get the classroom door locked and lights out - pull the fire alarm if possible - and maybe even barricade the door and windows with student desks if the gunfire isn't close.
If hearing gunfire in the hallways - get into the nearest room and lock every single door accessing that room - same thing about the alarm, lights and desks...
I told her in that case not to unlock the door once getting there - but what about other students needing refuge? Unlock it and let them in?
If the gunfire is near - duck and cover immediately - hide in a closet - get out of sight.
That's as far as we got - we were faced with more questions than answers!
If it can happen at Columbine - it can happen anywhere...
What do we tell our kids to do if faced with a shooter at school?
What should teachers be prepared to do?
Any input welcome!