What do we teach our kids about Protecting Themselves at school?

by todaystrainingblog

April 19, 2013


What do we teach our kids about Protecting Themselves at school?


            There has been a plethora of proposals about securing our schools in recent months. Ban guns, put armed guards in the schools, more money, study the problem and tons more minutia. And being honest, most of it is just plain rhetoric for the 10 o’clock news.

            Nothing will ever stop people from committing these horrendous crimes in our schools. We can legislate and ban firearms from school property all we want. We can even restrict law abiding citizens from owning them (let’s hope not). But we never talk about what our kids should do to protect themselves if they have an incident in the school.

            What should your kids do if there is an active shooter scenario in their school. How would they protect themselves. Should they be like an adult in a WPV incident? Or should they just play possum? And just as importantly, what should they do if confronted by another student or gang banger?

            One example that I am fervently against is the idea of our students fighting an armed attacker. Butler County Texas received a federal grant several years ago to study this. The basic idea is for students to throw items at the armed attacker books, desks, backpacks, and etc. First of all how do you encourage teenagers to stand and not panic – these are people who have a tendency to freak out over damaging their parents car.

            Secondly, in the event of a Columbine or Va. Tech attack, where the shooter or shooters are in a daze/trance you have little chance of distracting them from their goal long enough to make a get-away. But foremost, all you’re likely to do is make them angrier, and that’s the last thing they’d need to be.

            So what should we be doing to help our kids out of danger in a crisis situation such as an active shooter event? I have three very easy and inexpensive ways to get our kids out and keep them safe. And remember, nothing is ever guaranteed. Even the best school security plan can be thwarted in some fashion i.e. Sandy Hook Elementary in New Town, Ct.



            #1 is teach them the school evacuation plan. Teach, teach and teach more. Teach them until they’re sick of hearing it. Knowing where to get out of the school can help save their lives even with firearms being involved. And keep in mind also that in an active shooter event, you may not want to follow the prescribed evacuation plan, because who knows the evacuation route better than another student wishing to cause death and mayhem?



            The other scenario is what if they can’t get out, due to the shooter being on their floor or wing. In this instance they need to learn how to barricade the door to keep the shooter from coming in. As in most security events, the shooter will pick the path of least resistance to accomplish their goals. They know that they have a limited amount of time and want to cause as much mayhem as possible. So making it harder to get into a classroom will cause them to move to the next target.

            As I say in home security, the thief (nee active shooter) will choose the easiest pickins’! This means, if they are wanting to cause mayhem and chaos then they will move away from a door that may be barricaded. Unless their intended target is in that room, they will move on. And in many cases they’ll move along even if their target is in that room, to look for another target.


Alternate Escape Plans’

            Remember in your newspapers Sunday magazine, you’d see the ads for the rope or chain ladders to help escape the house during a fire? Why can’t we not utilize this same idea to help evacuate a school where a disaster or active shooter event is occurring? These chain ladders could prove useful in the event of any other disaster not just an active shooter scenario.


Alert Codes:

            Lastly, an alert system code use on the PA system. When the main office hears of a shooter, there may not be enough time to alert the school over the PA system. Something as simple as ‘Red West 2’ could mean an incident such as a  fire at the west end of the second floor.  “Black East 3 could mean a bomb threat or harmful person in the corridor of the east side of the third floor.


These are just a few simple ways to help save the lives of our kids during an incident. And again, this incident doesn’t necessarily mean a shooter, a fire, chemical spill, or a bomb threat. The main thing is that we think in conventional and unconventional ways to protect our kids, because after all that’s what we’re here for, isn’t it? And if we can’t protect our kids, then what kind of society or parents are we. And even if we can’t be there 24/7 with an Uzi to protect them, we MUST do what we can.


            Want to help your school district save and protect your kids? Want to know how parents can protect and help to prevent these incidents? 480-251-5197 is the number for Sollars Security Shield. We can help in innumerable ways to help you and the school protect your child.