Readiness in Schools


School shooting drills

In the light of school shootings and other events, experts start to advise us to prepare for insecurity and the lack of predictability. Shooting episodes might occur everywhere and anytime. A school curriculum needs to include elements to prepare the students for survival. The idea is to arrange classes to prepare the students against active shooters in school buildings. Exactly as we arrange drills against fire and earthquake today. Of course, it is important that these terror drills do not provoke more fear than needed, and that ideas of violent acts are transmitted.


Today we find increased security and preparation for terror all over, but in the schools nothing. The danger is real for both students and teachers. They need to be trained in these types of situations and be aware of that this type of situations might occur. To be prepared for these terrible unpredictable situations might save the life for many. This unknown possible act without date and place might or might not happen and that makes it more difficult. To teach children about insecurity, unpredictability and to put the unsafe on the agenda might create difficulties. These incidents are absolutely happening, and the students need to be challenged on the theme – the risk of the unknown.


The most important element the school need to transmit to the children is the ability to act independent in a very dramatic unpredictable situation. An initiative to survive and to save others is the essence in this training. To keep the young mind clear, think creative and survive. In short, act correct under pressure. A student has to know what to do if an active shooter starts to circulate at his school. To maintain passive might be to die. It does not exist any uniform response in these situations, but it exists ways that does not correspond with maintaining life. Any class, that intent to tech response to tactical situations has to make room for and applaud creativity and spontaneous solutions. In situations that are not predictable, there is no control, no existing information, no structure and everything is filled with a fog of fear. Everything is risk and surprises, blood and you will smell death.


Drills for shooter situations have to include a factor of “follow the teacher”. The teacher has to lead the students to an area that is supposed to be safer than other areas; multiple areas need to exist. The options need to be forwarded to the students, because if the teacher is shot dead the students need to know what to do. Remember this is the cruel real life. Insecurity and change is the characteristic in these situations, but with proper planning and a good strategy we might improve a fatal outcome. Do not forget that these drills need to be adjusted for the age and increase gradual. If you create anxiety in the children we find the drill contra producing.