Active Shooter Situations: Exercises
Most schools practice evacuation drills for fires and protective measures for tornadoes,
but far fewer schools practice for active shooter situations. To be prepared
for an active shooter incident, schools should train their staff, students,
and families, as appropriate, in what to expect and how to react. If students are
involved, to select the appropriate exercise the school should consider the ages
of the students. In a study of 84 active shooter events that occurred between
2000 and 2010, 34 percent involved schools.13
Good planning includes conducting drills which must include first responders and
school resource officers (where applicable). Exercises with these valuable partners
are one of the most effective and efficient ways to ensure that everyone knows not
only his or her roles, but also the roles of others at the scene. These exercises
should include walks through school buildings to allow law enforcement to provide
input on shelter sites as well as familiarize first responders with the location.
Each person carries a threefold responsibility.
- First: Learn the signs of a potentially volatile situation and ways to prevent an
- Second: Learn the best steps for survival when faced with an active shooter situation.
- Third: Be prepared to work with law enforcement during the response.