It is very unlikely that you will experience a school rampage in your life, but it can still be a scary possibility. Preparing for a school shooting can help you feel more confident in everyday life and can really pay off if you are ever in danger.
Notice the next door in every room you are in. Look for all possible exits in every classroom where you teach.
Mentally go back your steps to the nearest school exit. If you have a free moment in class, challenge yourself to think about the fastest route from campus from your current location. Find out for each of your classes so you are prepared in case you need to get away quickly.
Find shortcuts and alternative routes around your school. Challenge yourself to take different avenues to class and explore areas of campus that you are not so familiar with.
Take into account the school’s evacuation procedures. Your school likely has its own evacuation route in the unlikely event of a shooting. If you have not yet learned these routes through practice, you can ask a teacher or administrator what they are.
Note large, strong objects that you can hide behind in a classroom. In a lockdown situation where you are looking for protection in a classroom, you can protect yourself even better by hiding behind solid objects. Look around your classrooms and note thick desks that you might be able to turn and crouch behind, or large closets that you could hide behind.
Identify teaching objects that you can use to defend yourself. There are many everyday classroom subjects that, in extreme cases, you can use as weapons of defense. If you notice things around your classroom that you can easily grab and throw, you will feel more prepared and more confident in the event of a shooting.
Know your general options for running, hiding, or fighting. In the unlikely event of a high stress emergency situation, this short mantra can quickly remind you of your options. Running means evacuating, hiding means protecting and fighting means fending off the shooter as a last resort. Neither option is considered the best. it all depends on your situation.
If you are ever scared that your school might have a shooting, first think about how unlikely it is, then remember that you have a plan just in case it actually happens.
Stay vigilant when you’re in school just in case. Retiring in school is easy, but you should always try to stay awake and engaged. There’s only the slightest chance your school will be shot. However, when it does, you can see what is going on and take it seriously if you stay vigilant.
Be careful when leaving the classroom during the fire drill. Some shooters have set off fire alarms to get students and teachers out of the classroom and wreak havoc before they start shooting.
Don’t chat too much with friends while leaving the classroom. Remember that in an emergency you need to be able to hear the teacher and what is going on around you.
Suggest doing active shooter exercises to show everyone what to do. Many schools now offer active target practice which, like fire or tornado exercises, teaches students and teachers what to do in an emergency. Ask your counselors or school principals if you should do lockdown or evacuation drills every few months.