What was once deemed to be a safe haven, an environment of learning and enrichment is now in danger across the United States. According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, educational environments were identified as the second-largest location grouping of active shooter incidents in the United States between 2000-2013.
As a result, it is no surprise that more and more school districts are literally gearing up in the name of self-defense.
Just this past week a Southern Ohio school district joined multiple school districts in the state to allow staff to carry firearms. The resolution is part of the districts yearly safety plan update. Under the policy, those who will carry guns must undergo extensive training to be certified.
A report conducted by NBC confirms the new dark reality that schools are facing across the states. After reviewing the firearm and education laws in all 50 states , 18 states currently allow adults to possess a loaded gun on school grounds.
Nonetheless, the newly adopted gun permissions raise several questions. A study conducted by Harvard University highlights concerns such as: police not knowing who is armed when arriving at the scene of a conflict, the fear that increased emphasis on 2nd amendment rights might crush 1st amendment rights, and an increase in suicide (Guns are used more in suicide than self-protection).
Although these are valid concerns and should be observed carefully, it is vital to know what to do if you are ever caught in an active shooting situation.
As the FBI report notes, “Even when law enforcement was present or able to respond within minutes, civilians often had to make life and death decisions, and, therefore, should be engaged in training and discussions on decisions they may face.”
Given that every situation is different and there is no one size fits all solution, the Department of Homeland Security advises that the best response sequence is to, “run, hide, and fight.”
The phrase is a quick way to remember what to do in an active-shooter situation, in order:
1.Run if you can.
2.If you’re stuck, hide (also referred to as “sheltering in place”).
3.If the shooter finds you, then fight — with whatever you can (from hot coffee to pens).
Check out the step-by-step, “Run, Hide, Fight” protocol video produced by the City of Houston in partnership with the Department of Homeland Security below:
By Samantha Romero