on innocence lost …

'gun' photo (c) 2004, Gideon Tsang - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

We had a “live shooter lock down drill” at the middle school where I work today. I know that it is completely wise and completely necessary for us to learn and practice skills for horrible events that I MOST CERTAINLY hope we never ever have to use, but it raised more than a little bit of anxiety in me as we were in the midst of our drill. Our school never does anything half-way. Over the past two years, we’ve gone through training and preparation for dealing with a “live shooter” on our campus. We’ve watched incredibly stressing training videos the have been specifically designed for training, but which appear to be security camera videos of two gunmen entering a school and opening fire. This stuff is SCARY!!!

In today’s drill, blank shots were actually fired in a section of the campus. We all knew that the drill would take place and we knew that blanks would be fired, but we didn’t know where on campus it would be. Let me tell you, even when you know that it is a drill, it is SCARY!!!

So what do you do? We’ve been taught that PASSIVITY is BAD! Students have been taught to take action. If you THINK you can get away from a shooting situation, DO IT!!! Run, head into the wooded area behind the campus. Get off campus and head into the surrounding neighborhood if you are able! If you need to break a window with a chair or desk to make an exit, DO IT!!!

If, heaven forbid, you are trapped in a room and suspect a shooter is heading your way, barricade! Desk. Tables. Chairs. Anything moveable is a tool that you should use to raise your chance of surviving. Belt tie doors shut. Block windows. Stay out of site and be prepared to create as much stress and distraction to a shooter as possible. If a shooter enters a room, anything that can be thrown should be and it is EVERYBODY’S RESPONSIBILITY to find a way to immobilize a shooter. RUSH and IMMOBILIZE!!! If you can grab hold of a body part, DO IT!!!

I have goose bumps and the hair at the back of my neck is standing on end as I write this. I hate having to think about all this. Statistically, the world is actually a much safer place in terms of crime than when I was in middle school. It’s just that communication technologies have made it hard for us to pretend that bad things don’t happen in the world. The reality is that this is a good thing.

It just, though, doesn’t always FEEL that way. A big part of me really, really wants my innocence back …

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