As a volunteer lunch lady at my daughter’s elementary school I’ve had a good look at the security arrangements. Simply put, I’m not comfortable with the level of active shooter prevention. Many of the best practices recommended in the NRA’s excellent [and ignored] post-Newtown National School Shield report are obvious by their absence. I’m taking a walk softly approach, waiting until I’ve established credibility with the principal before raising the subject. Meanwhile, my daughter and I have discussed her options during an active shooter scenario and let’s just say Sandy Hook proved that “shelter in place” has its limits. For our reproductive or adoptive readers, what’s the active shooter security situation at your sprog’s school? Have you discussed prevention or response with the school, other parents and/or your kids? How did you broach the subject?

36 Responses to Question of the Day: How’s Active Shooter Security at Your Child’s School?

  1. Damned good where my Nephews go.
    My Brother, their Father, is a Texas Police officer/US Army Veteran and their School Resource Officer.
    I’ve rarely seen him miss and Have seen the results when he has participated in live fire Simmunition training at the schools when closed during summer.

    You won’t have to worry about a lengthy trial for anyone stupid enough to try it at his schools.
    Just the cost of a pauper’s grave.

    • Doing simunition training in closed schools during the summer is a great idea. And publicity about the occurrence of that kind of training would probably have some deterrent effect.

  2. My 2 daughters in high school are told by the staff of the school that they are to huddle in the corner with a book to throw if the “gunman” comes in the room. They have “the 2 biggest boys” wrap a rope around the door knob and pull on either side of the doorjamb. WTF??

    I told them to find the biggest boy, have him throw a desk through the window and run like hell.

    If faced with a gunman and no weapon to defend oneself fleeing is the next best option.

    Throwing a book at an armed mad man. Sounds reasonable (SMH).

    • Pretty much the same thing here. I’ve told my kids that their first option should always to be get out of the room and out of the school if possible.

      If that’s not possible, then they shelter in place — and while they’re doing that, turn every object possible into a weapon. Chairs, desks, books, scissors, table legs, shelving, electrical cords, internet cables, whatever… And get as many other kids as they can (and the teacher) to wield said weapon and attack the shooter en masse as soon as he enters the room.

      • Our youngest graduated from high school over four years ago, but this more-or-less parallels what we told her and her two older siblings when they were in school:
        – Run away from the shots if at all possible, off school property a good distance.
        – Hide quietly if one must, barricading the door.
        – If facing the shooter, you and friends attack: throw books, stab with pencils, overpower with numbers.

        Thanks the Lord, they never had to apply these rules. It is interesting to see how the old “lock-down” advice is being supplanted by rules very similar to the ones we taught our kids years ago.

      • My kids are 10 and 12. I have taught them that if someone has a gun near them and they have heard any firing, they are to run away as fast as possible and keep running.

  3. How’s Active Shooter Security at Your Child’s School? It amounts to lock the doors, hide, and hope for a quick end if discovered. In other words there is no security; zip, zero, zilch.

  4. I got on the board at my kids’ school and have slowly been making suggestions. . . . Board members are agreeing with me. Eventually, gonna raise some defense weaponry.

  5. The “preparations” at my children’s school are about as much in the “less than adequate” department as you might imagine. To the credit of the district, there are a couple of resource officers who make occasional appearances, but mostly to tell parents to stay out of the bus lanes.

    My children are smart enough to realize that these preparations are pathetic. My 11-year-old was bold enough to tell her principle “Sounds like a good plan to give someone non-moving targets.”

    Needless to say, they have their own protocols to follow, with demonstrably better odds of survival.

  6. I don’t have kids, but from my own experience growing up:

    My elementary school: It’s a &^^%$!’ing deathtrap!

    It’s an incredibly small school with only 70-80 kids total. Which is good because kids can get individual attention that they need, but for school security, it’s a terrible setup.

    If and when I have kids, I won’t be sending them to that school. The school is run by a group of unthinking liberal do-gooders who have no problem with the communist revolution(s) of the past 100 years, but can’t connect the dots that they, both as teachers, who were always the first to be killed, but also as business owners (It’s a private school) they’d be the first ones executed publicly as has happened throughout history.

    The layout of that school is incredibly dangerous WRT to an active shooter. Without giving away it’s name and location, it is incredibly compact, and there’s not much room to maneuver, let alone run away. I can think of one good exit for one classroom, but the rest of the students are all kinda stuck going out the main door. If the school is attacked by multiple bad guys, and enveloped, then they are all screwed.

    I, a fellow with no military or law enforcement training, and only has the shooting videos he’s illegally downloaded from the internet for training, and his own range time where I taught myself how to shoot, could enter that school and turn it into a slaughterhouse that will make Sandy Hook look like a good day.

    A bad guy (or bad guys) with evil intentions could do something similar, if not worse.

    It’s a bad guy’s dream location. A small compact location, gun-free victims, all under the age of 14. Throw in some easily bought firecrackers or smoke bombs to cause more confusion while going from room to room, and you have a recipe for a massacre.

    Just go into one room, again there’s only 7-12 kids per class, kill everyone, they won’t even have to change mags between going between each room, then go into another room, kill everyone, go into another room, kill everyone, on and on and on. By the time someone calls the police and officers are inbound, a third to half of the kids will be dead or dying, by the time the cops arrive, the bad guy(s) will have killed nearly everyone, and taken the own life(s).

  7. I don’t have a child, but My Mother works at a school and their Deputy keeps an AR-15 in his office, in a safe.

    Not perfect, but better than nothing.

  8. My daughter’s old school was a deathtrap, her current is a bit better. One main entrance with camera and electronic lock, you enter office before school, and every classroom has an emergency exit.

  9. Die in place is not an option!

    My mom is a teacher and brought up some security measures during a staff meeting. Knowing that 99% of the staff are pretty much progressive true believers, they looked at her like she had a third eye. They perpetually live in condition white.

  10. I don’t have kids of my own, so I have no idea what procedures local schools have in place. But I DO remember my grade school days. I grew up in North St. Louis and attended St. Philip Neri Catholic school from 1953 through 1962. It was a pretty rough neighborhood, and times were very different. Father Hrdlicka kept a loaded 1911 in his desk drawer in the school office, right next to the refrigerator full of Pabst Blue Ribbon with the carton of Pall Malls sitting on top.

  11. How’s Active Shooter Security at Your Child’s School?

    No problems in MA. Active shooters are as secure as can be. The kids, no so much.

  12. In direct answer to the title of this post: piss-poor.

    My offspring attending elementary and middle school are under standing orders to GTFO in an active shooter situation, regardless of teacher instructions. They each have multiple escape routes off campus.

    My offspring at the high school has an even worse tactical situation. Depending on location, the response may be to GTFO (again, multiple escape routes) or, if forced to shelter in a classroom, to improvise the best possible counter-attack just inside the door with friends and the materials at hand.

    All of them have been briefed on the vulnerability continuum: visibility < mobility < concealment < cover. Frankly, though, if anything happens I just hope they have the presence of mind to orient themselves to the sound of gunfire then run for the escape route in the opposite direction.

  13. I’m the tech guy for our school. Small, rural, and underfunded. The super spent a ton on a dvr and cameras…which is locked in the server room with no one monitoring. We had a discussion post-Newtown which amounted to helpful cards being placed in each room detailing what to do in case ‘something bad’ occurs. Every time the unlocked doors open from outside in between classes I still jerk my head up from my desk. Guess I can lob a laptop and pray.

    The mentality that it won’t happen here is still very much alive. Complacency is going to ensure a wholly inadequate response and chaos. I have my CCW permit, but that does no good in the safe school zone. A reactive stance is going to be a mistake, I just pray that stance will never be tested.

  14. My son’s high school has poor security: multiple entrances (which they try to keep locked these days), and a wide open main entrance. Should a shooter enter with weapons concealed, they could pass the office and the only indication of a problem would be the gun fire a few minutes later.

    A local PD resource officer is at the school on and off throughout the school day. And there’s at least one guy with a two way radio who is there throughout the day. That’s it for security – better than many, not as good as some, and totally inadequate in my opinion.

    We’ve discussed school security and potential active shooter scenarios with our son. Like others have mentioned, his instructions are to make a run for it if possible.

    I volunteer at the school 2-3 times per week, and as a concealed handgun license holder I carry concealed every time I visit. Coincidentally, I met the resource officer at a Boy Scout/NRA RSO certification class prior to my volunteering. The resource officer knows I’m exercising my right to carry as a CHL holder. The reaction I received was a pleasant surprise – thanks for the courtesy of being informed, and now if someone determines I’m armed, they will be informed it’s no big deal because I have a CHL (and there’s nothing the authorities can do).

    One question I’ve not gotten around to asking yet: in the event of an active shooter, will responding officers enter the school immediately or wait 30-45 minutes for SWAT to show up?

    • Most active shooters immediately surrender or commit suicide at the first sign of armed resistance. For that reason, the protocol at all police departments is that any and all officers arriving immediately charge into the facility to engage the active shooter as soon as possible … without backup and without S.W.A.T.

      That said, there was a huge delay in armed response at the last two spree killer events: both Sandy Hook Elementary and the Navy Yard attacks. In both cases police officers arrived on scene and several minutes passed before they entered the buildings. This violates their official department protocols. I have not the slightest idea why no one has called them to task on it. In fact I wonder if that is why the official report of the Sandy Hook Elementary attack is being delayed beyond imagination.

  15. I tried like hell to get funding for cloud-based training programs (click my name for proposal summary) from Sandy Hook Foundation, but got squat.

    The parents are, of course, earnest and extremely nice (on the whole) who have been through the unimaginable. But I could not get Ron Conway to say yes, no matter how hard I tried.

    Their reason? It won’t make enough money. So that is how much they “care.”

    • I think a better approach then training thru the “evil” nra would be to get local law enforcement (even if it actually was nra backed) on board to “do the training”.

      It would make those who need to “feel good”….well…..”feel good”

  16. Glad my kids are all at university now. I need to call and find out if they do indeed have an active shooter plan. I wonder if I could inspect the Campus Police force?

  17. The security at the two schools I work at is, in a word, abhorrent. The campuses are Swiss cheese in terms of the number of gates/doors that are left open. The teachers are obsessive about their own convenience, so if I lock some of the gates they lose their sh*t cuz they have to walk an extra 100 feet. It drives me absolutely insane. The custodian at my middle school is the only other member of the People of the Gun, and it is abundantly clear that we are the only two people around who give a damn about safety. The teachers constantly thank me for being their to protect them, which on one hand is nice, but on the other hand it is perfectly clear that if something were to happen, I would be acting only with my custodian compatriot or worse, completely alone in attempting to stop the threat. If you’ve read this far along in my comment I’ve got your attention, so now that I have it I must ask: any recommendations for a really large folding knife? I need one since I can’t carry my 1911. I’m thinking a blade of at least five inches is required. Concealing it from the children is also important, hence the folding requirement. Any help from wiser men (or women) would be greatly appreciated.

    • My advice: responding to an active shooter with a knife, regardless of how long the blade is, is suicide and will not stop the shooter.

      Bring a firearm with you. Hide it in a briefcase, notebook computer case, or lunch carrier if necessary and guarantee that no children can access it when you are not there. That means locking it in a cabinet of some sort. And if hiding it, I suggest you keep the chamber empty which guarantees that a negligent discharge is impossible. The extra half a second it takes to rack the slide will be insignificant in an active shooter scenario.

      If you absolutely positively cannot bring yourself to keep a firearm available, then bring something else that increase the distance at which you can engage an active shooter. The real serious bear spray (the stuff that is really expensive for grizzly bears) might be a somewhat effective alternative and give you a range of up to 20 feet indoors. Heck, even a small bag of tennis ball sized rocks, thrown at just 60 mph, is likely to knock a person unconscious or at least stun them enough to be able to tackle them. And your range is only limited in how far you can throw such a rock accurately.

      In fact bring both the small sack of tennis ball sized rocks and the bear spray. Throw the rocks (as hard as you can) from behind cover to get the active shooter’s attention. If you hit the shooter and take them out, great. If not, keep throwing rocks until they decide to engage you. Since you are behind cover, the shooter will have to approach. When the active shooter approaches, hit the active shooter with the bear spray as soon as you can see him/her.

      This is far from ideal but gives you at least some chance of stopping the shooter and staying alive. Charging an active shooter with a knife doesn’t seem to have any significant chance of success.

  18. How’s active shooter security at my child’s school?

    Non-existent. Sure, the schools keep some obscure back doors locked and they practice a lock down drill once a year. Other than that, no security guards, no resource officers, no police officers, pretty much no surveillance cameras, and the front doors are always open. Adding insult to injury our state criminalizes concealed carry licensees who carry concealed in schools which almost guarantees that there are no armed people in the schools … unless an off-duty law enforcement officer happens to be visiting and armed. (While our state criminalizes citizens with concealed carry licenses who carry concealed into schools, our state graciously “allows” law enforcement officers to carry concealed.)

    So I have already instructed my oldest child to immediately vacate the building if she hears anything that could be gunfire. And yes, we have a predetermined rendezvous location far enough away from the school that I should be able reach her even if the police have blocked-off a large perimeter around the school. As for my youngest, she is too young to know what to do so she is, unfortunately, hung out to dry until she gets older.

  19. If someone shoots up my school, I’m screwed. I’m dead. Game over. No security whatsoever. The only single glimmer of hope I have is that someone from the local range heard about the shooting and they all rush over with tavors. Luckily it’s part of a tactical training center and the staff all open carries so they would be my best bet. …….cops not so much. I’d be dead way before they got there.

  20. My son is in a daycare that is also a private school. I haven’t seen any gun free zone signs. But that doesn’t mean that I think any of the teachers there are the type to carry a firearm. I mean they work with only kids under the age of 6. You all know the types. I just try not to worry about the prospect of an active shooter at my son’s school.

  21. I’m a little too young *in my opinion* to be a father. However, I do work in an after school program for children ages 5-12.

    My building director and head of maintenance have access to a secure safe with an M&P9 in it.

    And I “don’t” carry. As in – I have been told that it’s “not allowed by policy”, but I can “do what you believe in your heart as long as nobody else is the wiser.”

    “My” kids are safe.

  22. the schools my wife teaches at (Jr High) the elementary and preschool our kids go to all implemented a “great” security plan. they installed a set of doors inside the existing double doors with a glass hall way that leads to the office where you have to buzzed in. they also stopped letting the parents wait for their children in the school lobby.
    I’m a police officer and my fisrt thought when I saw it on the first day of school when we waited for an hour and a half to get in throught the new “security” and sign in at the office, was “gee this is nice they installed a nice kill box to get trapped in, if there was an active shooter inside. A good place to set up an ambush for responders coming in the school”

    I told my wife in case of an active shooter grab the closest fire extiguisher, “squirt ’em with the white stuff hit ’em with the red can” its better than nothing

  23. A madmam (or broad) with a firearm in a school is really your big concern? If so the libtards are winning. The probabilty is so low. Better to worry about the crumb cruncher being starved with their Michael Obuma School lunch.

    WTH is “active shooter” The opposite of an inactive target? See also “lockdown”. BS Cop wanna be all hightech/scientific rather than boring plain ole flatfoot See also SWAT etc.

    • An active shooter is just what the name implies, a bad guy actively shooting people. if he barricades himself in a room and stops shooting he’s a “barricaded gunman”. these are very common terms and pretty self explanitory. doesn’t really sound all that high-speed-low-drag-Gecko45-operator to me.

  24. I have a 4yo in preschool. Haven’t asked. Security is okay, I mean they keep the place locked up. Should probably ask about the active shooter thing. Newtown really sends home that it really can happen anywhere.

  25. I’m in college now, no children, but I can comment on my old high school. It had decent-ish security. The campus was large with 2,500-3,000 students, and many entrances and exits. The campus was comprised of several buildings all forming a sort of ring with the gaps between filled with fences. The fences could be scaled with relative ease, they were standard 4 foot chain link. The individual buildings were kept unlocked but all doors to the outside aside from the one leading to the office were locked during school hours. I’m not sure how much help that was, though, there were plenty of full height glass windows that could easily be broken and entered through.

    For security personnel, there was a full time SRO who was armed with a Glock and a taser, and two (?) of the deans also had tasers. As far as I know, the plan was the fairly standard shelter in place, but all of the doors to individual classrooms were steel in steel frames and had locks. Interior walls were concrete block and there was a school intercom plus alarms for emergencies. I never felt particularly insecure. I graduated in 2011, prior to Sandy Hook, so the plans and systems may have changed since then.

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