This is part two of a two part series on how teachers can be educated on school safety to protect the future of our country: students. View part one here.
Once you are aware of a shooting in your school, there are some specific actions you can take to protect yourself and your students:
- Barricade your door: Move all the desks and chairs to the door. A normal shooting lasts seven minutes, so the shooters is not going to waste time trying to push through a door if it is barricaded.
- Contact authorities: Text or call 911, alerting someone that there is an attack going on at your school once you and your students are secure.
- Turn off the lights: This prevents the shooter from being able to see clearly through the door or windows.
- Hide: The best places to hide are to get on the floor against a wall out of line of sight of the door. Hiding in a closet or underneath a desk helps provide some protection. While laying on the ground, pretend to be dead by laying still, but try to be in a position where your head and vitals are protected.
- Slow the shooter down: If confronted by a shooter, the first thought should be to protect the children. Get them to run and find an exit (out a door or window) so they are out of harms way. As an adult, you may have the responsibility of protecting your kids by slowing down the shooter as the children exit. Throwing objects, such as chairs, desks, and laptops, at the shooter may help disorient him or her. Using a fire extinguisher to spray the shooter in the face can blind them and finally, pulling a fire alarm or setting off the sprinkler system can cause confusion and disorientation. Being armed with a canister of pepper spray is also an extremely good choice.
- Team up: You have a better chance of disarming a shooter when they are confronted with a group of adults rather than by one individual. Try to approach the threat from the back, grabbing the shooter’s gun and forcing it to be pointed in the air. This allows a fairer fight when the school teacher is unarmed. Fighting dirty by grabbing the shooter’s hair, kicking them in the groin, and poking them in the eyes are also excellent close range tactics.
Remember that when law enforcement comes to the scene, you need to be cool, calm and collected. Provide them with as much information about the situation as possible. If you know a shooter is down, or aware of more than just one shooter, this should also be told to the law enforcement. Never run towards the law enforcement officials unless they direct you to. This could be viewed as a threat.
The first line of defense in school are the adults, and are the first responders. Be prepared for the worst and always focus on protecting the children first. To further protect your school, raise awareness of security systems that can be put into place.
If you want more information on how to protect your schools, give OSSI a call today at (888)488-2623 or (262) 522-1870 for an Integrator near you.