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Responding to School Shooters: Should Teachers Take the Offensive?

Classroom SeriesAfter the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, school officials began to re-think their strategies when it comes to Responding to School Shooters. Would it be better for teachers to Take the Offensive and attack the shooter? This was the topic when Campus Safety magazine sat down with Safe Havens International Executive Director Michael Dorn, a well-known school security expert and author of five books on school safety. Dorn covered how teachers and other school staff should respond in the first 30 seconds of an emergency: active shooter, other weapon attack, medical emergency, or natural disaster. The full podcast can be listened to by following this link.

Dorn also published an article titled, “9 Tips to Improve School Lockdowns.”

  1. Don’t Focus JUST on Active Shooter Situations: There are many situations that can take place. Focusing your efforts on one possible scenario could leave your campus vulnerable to another kind of threat.
  2. Have Multiple Lockdown Procedures: Each type of emergency requires a unique lockdown procedure. An active shooter should not be handled the same way as a natural disaster and vice versa.
  3. Avoid Code Confusion: The idea behind having codes is useful; however the execution is often a problem. Calling the wrong code or misinterpreting a code can be disastrous.
  4. Staff Training: All school staff members should participate in lockdown training and should be issued keys.
  5. Keep Doors Locked: School doors should be locked during school hours.
  6. Practice Makes Perfect: All staff members should participate in drills to hone their skills in emergency situations. Otherwise, failure is more likely when an emergency situation occurs.
  7. Lockdowns Should be Based on the Situation, not Location: Lockdown procedures based on location were found to have an 81% fail rate. Lockdowns should be based on the nature of the situation.
  8. Reverse Evacuation Protocol: How do you return students outside of the building inside in a quick and efficient manner?
  9. Room Clear Protocols: Schools must have a mechanism to quickly clear students from a room where there is a threat.

Obviously, there is no “one size fits all” solution to school lockdowns. Each must be taken on a case-by-cases basis. However, it is our hope that this article sheds some light on your current lockdown practices and helps you make your campus a much safer environment.

For any further questions on our blog, “Responding to School Shooters: Should Teachers Take the Offensive?” simply contact ARK Systems at 1-800-995-0189 or click here today. Check us out on Facebook and Twitter as well!


Should School Teachers, Administrators Attack Active Shooters? Campus Safety Magazine


This entry was posted on Thursday, May 9th, 2013 at 3:38 pm. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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