Schedule a CallContact
June 29, 2022

Preparing for Threat: School Shootings

In today’s world, school shootings are an unfortunate risk to our nation’s children.

Share:

In today’s world, school shootings are an unfortunate risk to our nation’s children. While we would ideally remove the threat as a whole, in the meantime it is crucial that we learn the best and most secure methods for protecting children in the event of a mass shooting. As a security officer, you are the student’s first line of defense, and the actions you take will determine the outcome of a truly life or death situation. Here we will break down ways to protect children while staying as safe as possible, so that you can see the event through.

Trained Security Guard

The first step to keeping a school safe is to employ the appropriate security measures. This means employing a vetted and well-trained security officer as well as other technology. This officer should have experience and perform well under pressure. The mindset of this officer should not be that they are simply performing a task or showing up for a job. They hold the lives of what could be hundreds of people in their hands.

Security Culture and Procedures

Make sure to build a relationship between students, staff, security and law enforcement. Not only will this relationship help individuals come forward with suspicions, but it will encourage these same individuals to take your safety plan seriously. Make sure that students and staff are aware of where they can locate you, how they can call you, and exactly what it is you can do for them. You may even consider implementing an anonymous tip line or box where students can voice concerns without feeling exposed.

Crowd Control

In addition to a security officer, technology like cameras and checkpoints at entrances can be very important. The ability to document and monitor who is entering and exiting, as well as how often they appear and their demeanor is extremely important. Crowd control can be a way to not only show criminals that they are being observed, but students that they are being protected.

Tactical Scenarios and Drills

Run drills throughout the year that incorporate all of the aforementioned groups, where tactical scenarios can be carried out and tested. The importance of these drills cannot be underestimated. As important as your understanding of the school is, it’s crucial that the student’s and faculty’s is even better. Conduct regular drills of varied situations. Remember that there is no one-size-fits-all shooter situation. Encourage students and faculty to think on their feet, flee first and hide when necessary.

Additional steps to keeping a school safe is to encourage both students and staff to have open communication. Not only will this relationship help individuals come forward with suspicions, but it will encourage these same individuals to take your safety plan seriously. Make sure that students and staff are aware of where they can locate you, how they can call you, and exactly what it is you can do for them. You may even consider implementing an anonymous tip line, social media communication channels or box where students can voice concerns without feeling exposed.

It is important to remind today’s students that:

  1. All threats, even those made in a joking or offhanded matter, are still threats. Encourage reporting as much as possible, and ensure them that no tip is too vague.
  2. There will be no negative repercussions to the student that reports a threat. Although a student who is making threats may receive punishment, this will be far less damaging than the alternative.

Don’t forget that your job as a security officer will often involve intervening before a situation gets violent. Educate yourself and students on non-violent and empathetic conflict resolution approaches as a method of violence prevention.

Alsoo, as with all security jobs, a detailed understanding of the facility you’re working in is key. You should know the layout of the school by heart, and assess the most vulnerable locations consistently. Consider the worst-case scenario. Who will be most at risk? What rooms are the least fortified? Where could someone hide or flee? All of these questions are critical to survival in a shooter situation.

As important as your understanding of the school is, it’s crucial that the student’s and faculty’s is even better. Conduct regular drills of varied situations. Remember that there is no one-size-fits-all shooter situation. Encourage students and faculty to think on their feet, flee first and hide when necessary.

In the event of a true shooter situation, remember that your presence is unlikely to deter a gunman who has already made the decision to commit this crime. Reasoning with a criminal who has already begun a shooting is not in anyone’s best interest, and in this case it is best to attempt to eliminate the threat, whether that be through restraint, or should it be necessary, force.

Many shooters, especially school shooters, are untrained when it comes to firearms. This gives you the upper hand in terms of handling and aim. It is important to stay consistent with your personal training in order to be prepared.

In the end, school shootings are varied and unpredictable situations, but it is your job to protect children and face the threat. Training is key to ensuring both you and your schools’ safety.

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Join our mailing list for more information about ITAC’s events, security advice, case studies, and more.
Physical Security

To ensure your physical security, we provide specialty security officer services, unarmed and armed, across different industries and fields. Our security is tailor-made to your needs, with the main priority to protect your assets, business operations, employees, and events.