During a school shooting, students should follow the guidelines provided by their school and law enforcement agencies to increase their chances of survival. While specific recommendations may vary depending on the situation and location, some general guidelines include:
Run, Hide, Fight: This is the standard protocol recommended by many law enforcement agencies. If it is safe to do so, students should run away from the danger and evacuate the area. If escape is not possible, they should hide in a secure location, locking or barricading doors and turning off lights. As a last resort, if confronted by the shooter, students should attempt to fight back using any available means to protect themselves.
Stay calm and quiet: During a school shooting, it is crucial for students to remain as calm as possible. This can help them think clearly and make better decisions. Staying quiet can also help avoid drawing the shooter's attention.
Follow instructions from authorities: Students should listen carefully to any instructions given by school staff, law enforcement officers, or other authorities. These individuals are trained to handle emergency situations and will provide guidance on the best course of action.
Silence mobile devices: Students should silence their phones and other electronic devices to avoid drawing attention to their hiding place. They should also avoid making noise that could alert the shooter to their presence.
Communicate with authorities, if possible: If it is safe to do so, students can try to communicate with law enforcement officers or school administrators using text messages, phone calls, or social media. Providing accurate information about the situation, the shooter's location, and any injured individuals can help authorities respond effectively.
Be aware of exits and escape routes: Students should familiarize themselves with their school's layout, including the locations of exits and escape routes. This can help them evacuate quickly and safely during an emergency.
Mental and emotional preparedness: Regularly participating in lockdown drills and discussing potential emergency situations with teachers and parents can help students be more mentally and emotionally prepared to handle a school shooting. Although there are online sources saying school shooting lock down drills are causing PTSD in students, it is understood that drills play a vital role in preparedness.
It is important to remember that every school shooting situation is unique, and students should use their best judgment based on the specific circumstances. Following the guidelines provided by their school and law enforcement agencies, staying calm, and thinking clearly can help increase their chances of survival.