By now you have heard about the shooting at Reynolds High School around 8:00 am June 10, 2014. I will have links to stories and articles about the event. I want to focus on some the issues we can all learn from.
School Emergency Plan: Did Reynolds High School have a written plan about active shooters? It appeared that the meeting place was thought about as a quick solution. Was that plan talked about with fellow parents? It is difficult to communicate emergency information that is not known before hand.
Does your school have a written emergency plan?
Situation awareness: Being aware of your environment, not just in emergencies, but on a daily bases. I am not talking about being paranoid or judging people. I am talking about taking responsibility for your own protection. Here is a classical example of not being aware:
11 a.m.: Eleventh-grader “………” was seated in the school cafeteria with friends Tuesday morning when they were told the school was going into a lock down.
“We thought it was fake because we never heard of anything like this, ” …… said. “Every one thought it was a joke.”
But then he said they heard screaming and were led to a secure counselor’s office to wait out the lockdown. http://www.oregonlive.com/gresham/index.ssf/2014/06/reynolds_high_shooting_police_1.html
Most often schools will announce to students when a drill takes place. For example: The Great Shakeout is in October at 10:00 am. If you hear an announcement that was NOT planned ahead of time, then take it very serious! That young person could have died by his lack of response.
Don’t become a victim: Follow the schools instructions during times of crisis. During earthquakes go under the desk, and during shooting follow teachers announcements, just to name a few.
BUT, you are ultimately responsible for your own safety and life. If the shooter was going to break through the classroom, don’t hide in the open. Jump out the window and make a run for it. Hide in the corner and attack like your life depends on it, because it flipping does!! You have to decide what is your best chance at survival. You are not a brainless human being, don’t act like one.
Without even knowing any details about the shooter, I can assume a few things. He was a loner. People might even say he was a nice kid. But search his Facebook page, and you may gain insight into his troubled mind. People might have said he was a little off. The time to be passive about your life is over. If someone “jokes” about shooting up the school, take that very serious. Report that to the principle, talk with your parents about your concerns, and report that to the local police. Again, this is one of those areas where a little common sense goes a long ways. Just because someone dresses in black cloths, does not mean they are violent.
I want to point out another example:
A junior named Polina, who declined to give last name also planned to arrive to school late, but her brother, Danil, was inside Reynolds. She exchanged text messages with him. He wrote: “Happened in the gym. u could hear shots from outsdode, 2 minutes later lockdown.”
I understand parents and students have a need/desire to find out what is happening, but an active shooter event is NOT that time.
Students: You must keep your wits about you. Every second counts when your living a nightmare. You could be so focused on the text, you do not see the shooter or hear the person coming. When our adrenalin kicks in, our senses zero in and are not as open to the environment. So, instead of focusing on footsteps, your focused on social media or texting parents.
Parents: Don’t be angry with what I am about to say. If you believe there still is an active shooter in the school, DO NOT TEXT OR CALL YOUR CHILD. When my phone gets a text a very loud whistle notifies me. When I get a call, I can hear it from 20 feet or more. God forbid your child is hiding and all of sudden a loud whistle comes from their location. That mistake could cost them their lives.
Students and Parents talk with each other. Talk about your fears, concerns, and family plans.
I hope I have been able to help you. I am sorry for the loss of the student and sad no one could help the shooter with his issues. I ask everyone to spend just a moment or two and keep the families in your heart.
Multnomah Co. Mental Health & Addiction Services
PreparePDX past podcast
This podcast was just after the Clackamas Shooter event. I also have links to great resources at the bottom.