P320 Entry: Code Black – My Lockdown of the Day

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By Mr. Anonymous

Despite the low pay, general student apathy, and overwhelming parent criticism, working in education does have its benefits. I get to help students explore and understand new and exciting topics, my coworkers are wonderful human beings that love to teach, and my job allows me experience new things; no two days are ever the same. The situation I went through this past school year truly drives the last point home. The day in question started out as any other . . .

It was a Monday, meaning my students were still in an adolescent daze from the weekend. My morning classes had gone off without a hitch and I might have even put some useful information into the mind of a lazy teenager (impressive, I know). The entire mood of the school day changed between the 4th and 5th hour bells. I was chatting with some students near the door to my classroom about their weekend and…

“CODE BLACK! CODE BLACK! THIS IS A CODE BLACK!”

The secretary’s panicked voice boomed over the P.A. system and sent a shiver down my spine. She usually has the most genial and tranquil disposition. She never sounded this way. This was not a drill. I could feel it. Within a second I could feel it. I immediately told my students to clear their desks and get against the wall, out of view from anyone peering through the sidelight (the slim, full height window adjacent to the door frame). I then ran into the hallway where I met another teacher. We each yelled at students to run to the closest classroom. We were headed back to our respective rooms and…

“CODE BLACK! CODE BLACK! CODE BLACK!”

The secretary sounded even more nervous than before. I got back to my room, took one more quick look down the hallway, and slammed my door behind me, shut off the lights and secured my classroom from anyone that would attempt to enter. As I glanced to my left I saw 5 students cowering against the wall. I ran to my desk to grab my class rosters and the only item within reach that had any semblance of being a self-defense tool – a pair of scissors. I took my place between my students and the door, poised to stop anyone from doing these 5 students any harm. From the time the first Code Black call was given only 20 seconds had elapsed.

Silence… and DING! DING! DING! Time for 5th hour.

I will take a break from the action to explain a few things. For those of you who are uninitiated, Code Black is a term that warns faculty and staff that an armed intruder is on campus. In every school district that I have worked in or attended as a student, most “Code Black” procedures are boilerplate:

  1. Secure your classroom by closing and locking the door.
  2. Shut off the lights; close the curtains on windows or doors.
  3. Move students out of sight and as far away from the door as possible.
  4. Remain quiet.
  5. Wait for an administrator or police officer to unlock your door before emerging from the classroom.

This process may vary based on classroom layout, school district, and situational discretion, but for the most part these are the actions teachers are supposed to take in the event that a Code Black is called.

Now, back to my secured (locked, darkened, student-safely-relocated) classroom.

“Mr. Anonymous, is this a drill?” said one of my students.

“No… no it isn’t,” I whispered as calmly as possible. “Please try to remain quiet. Everything will be fine.”

I told my students to get out their cell phones and text their parents to let them know they are okay. I took out my phone as well, hoping that perhaps a mass text from the principal or superintendent had gone out. Nothing. I called my wife, a paraprofessional in the high school, to make sure she was all right.

“I’m fine,” she said quietly. “We’re locked in the conference room. I’m hanging up now. We’re not supposed to be talking on the phone.”

She was right, of course. Our Code Black procedure calls for absolute silence in order to prevent the armed intruder(s) from knowing who, if anybody, is in which classroom. But in the heat of the moment when I was worried about my wife’s safety, and a text message would not suffice, I felt that a phone call was warranted.

I grew anxious for information, which caused my imagination to head for the worst scenario. Are there kids dying on the other side of the school and I didn’t hear the gunshots? Was there a shooting at the elementary school in town? The middle school?

I took out my class roster for 5th hour and began to take a head count. I would have normally had 17 students in here, but 11 were gone for a Junior class activity, meaning I should have 6.

Crap. Where is my extra student? Was she absent? Caught in gunfire?

Before my mind could finish its extrapolation of horrendous possibilities, another student said, “She ended up in Mr. Blah Blah’s room when Code Black was called. She’s fine.”

Thank goodness for teenagers and cell phones. (Probably the last time I’ll use that phrase).

Knowing she was safe helped immensely; a respite of relief in a sea of uncertainty. But what the heck was going on in the rest of the school?

My students and I sat in silence for the next few minutes. Their fingers clicked noisily at their phones. I texted other teachers, but did not get any responses. They must have been busy dealing with their students. Or maybe they died. I wish I knew something. Anything.

“My mom says there are cops surrounding the tech ed. building with guns drawn!” one my students exclaimed. “They’re going inside!” This student’s home was near the school. Her mother had a very good view of the situation.

It was at this point that my heart truly sank. As teachers we know that this is always a possibility, no matter how minuscule the odds. I was 9 years old when Columbine happened. 17 years old during the Virginia Tech shooting. Sandy Hook occurred just last December while I was student teaching. I’ve read about this and I’ve seen the aftermath plastered on a television screen. But now it’s happening in my school, to my students. Nothing can prepare a teacher for that feeling of desperation and hopelessness.

As my 5 students began talking more loudly and frantically I could tell a few were about to panic. I reached inside and summoned my calm teacher voice. I soothed them back to silence the best I could. Meanwhile my right hand still gripped the scissors – my weapon of necessity, not choice.

The subsequent 10 minutes might as well have been days. If the shooter had been subdued in the tech ed. building, it would be hours before the officers were able to clear every room in the high school. And if it was a hostage situation it could last even longer. My mind settled in for the long run, contemplating who the attackers were. I narrowed it down to 2 students fairly quickly.

The silence was now slightly comforting. My students and I were a fair distance from the action. Assuming that there was only one shooter, and that he/she is now isolated, we were, most likely, free from danger. Knowing at least a sliver of information about the situation, however horrific it may be, was better than being left in the dark to panic. My prior ignorance was not bliss.

The audible click of the P.A. system interrupted our noiseless contemplations and prayers. A heavy sigh was heard, followed by the secretary’s composed and almost annoyed proclamation, “All clear. All clear. Everything is clear. Please return to your classes.”

Wait. Wait. Wait.

What?

When cops are on the scene with guns drawn this is not how a Code Black is dismissed.

I looked at my students in confusion. I told them to stay where they are. I needed to find out what just happened. I stepped out into the hallway, shut the door to my classroom, and walked to the front office of the high school, scissors at the ready.

After a lengthy conversation with the superintendent and several other teachers, everything made sense. I walked calmly back to my classroom and told my students that things were going to be okay. I turned on the lights and opened the door. The rest of the school day went on without any more incidents. The End.

….

Oh. You’re still here. You read this far? Good for you! I apologize for the length; brevity is not my strong suit. If you find this story to be too fantastical or somewhat exaggerated, I can only assure you that I am telling it exactly as it happened. I am sorry that I cannot provide proof. I am maintaining my anonymity for obvious reasons.

(Do you really think someone would do that? Just go on the Internet and tell lies?)

I suppose I should explain a few things that I learned in the office.

*Ahem*…

Class is now in session. Take your seats. Face forward. Please pay attention. This will all be on the exam.

Now students (TTAG readers), in this lesson we are going learn about and discuss the following:

What’s the Rest of the Story?

Square Steel Tubing: Remington’s Newest Product of 2014.

The Strengths and Weaknesses of Code Black Procedures.

How to Prevent School Casualties.

Here is the same story from the superintendent’s perspective. He was sitting in his office, which has a large picture window overlooking the parking lot between the high school and the tech ed. building. The superintendent was sitting in his office talking to a woman from the local newspaper, when she suddenly pointed at a suspicious student in the parking lot. The superintendent looked out the window and saw a tall, hooded figure reach into the back of a pickup, retrieve a shotgun, and proceed to enter the tech ed. building.

Without delay, the superintendent ran out of his office. He told the Human Resources Director to call 911, told the secretary to give the Code Black announcement, and then entered the high school commons area to warn the students that were eating lunch. He burst out of the office and screamed, “Code Black!” and yelled at kids to get away from the entrance and into any classroom that is open. It was chaos.

Once the commons was clear, his fatherly instinct kicked in – his son had class in the tech building that hour. He ran out of the front entrance towards the tech building, but was cut off by police cruisers before he could get there. Cops jumped out and yelled at him to get back into the school. He complied and they rushed into the tech building. After several tense minutes they exited, looking pissed off, but relieved.

The hooded figure was a student from the welding class in the tech building (and yes he was one of the students I had suspected of being the culprit). He told his friends, “Watch this,” knowing full well the appearance he gave off. He then put his hood up, walked to his pickup, and took out 3 pieces of square inch steel tubing – 2 pieces that were 3 feet long, and 1 piece that was 4 feet long. He carried them across his body with one hand under the “fore end” and the other at the “grip” of the “shotgun.” His friends did not pay any attention and did not see his antics, but the superintendent sure noticed. (The superintendent, who is an avid hunter and sportsman, swears that the kid was carrying a Remington 870. I trust his judgment). When the police stormed the tech building all the students and teachers were forced to the floor with guns pointed at them while they looked for the shooter. It took several minutes to sort everything out. Once the police realized the truth behind the situation, and after they confirmed it with the superintendent, teacher, and students, they left the campus.

Thankfully, nobody was shot or injured. This situation could have been so much worse had it been a real active shooter scenario. The Code Black procedures that most schools have in place are adequate at best, and extremely flawed at their worst. I will do my best to explain what I saw as the strengths and weaknesses of my school’s Code Black plan.

Strengths:

  1. Teachers and students knew where to go and how to react to the situation. We trained and had drills in the past that allowed us to be prepared.
  2. The design of our school allows for students to find a secure location almost anywhere on campus. Albeit, the locks on most doors are less than stellar (see below).
  3. Prompt communication and response time by the administration and law enforcement. (I will discuss the police response further down). The P.A. system was also a very valuable asset.

Weaknesses:

  1. I was locked in a classroom with 5 teenagers and nothing to defend them with but a pair of scissors. I wanted nothing more than to have my CCW with me. But alas, state laws currently prohibit me from protecting my students to the best of my ability in an active shooter scenario. But I guess in the eyes of law makers a pair of scissors (or nothing in the case of most teachers) is a better defense than my S&W Shield 9mm secured on my person in my IWB holster with an extra magazine on my belt. I think a 6th step should be added to the code black procedures I listed at the beginning of this article: “6. Cower defenselessly in the classroom with frightened students and await your impending demise.”
  2. The doors are not intruder-proof. As I mentioned earlier, my classroom has a sidelight, which is a glaring weak point. If an intruder was motivated and angry, he/she would need nothing more than a blunt object or a gunshot in order to breech the security of the average classroom.
  3. Communication could have been better. In our Code Black procedures a mass text is supposed to be sent out by the administration that informs the school staff of the situation. I understand that this particular situation did not allow the superintendent to do so, but a backup or automatic mass text system should be on hand, ready to deliver vital information to classroom teachers.
  4. If someone really wanted to harm or destroy the lives of students, there are more holes in a standard Code Black plan than a block of Swiss cheese. There is very little in the way of deterrence. Nothing will stop an attack from happening; you can only hope the cops get there sooner rather than later.

While I appear quite critical of my school’s plan, it is only out of concern for my students’ well being. The plan is good, but not great. It turned out to be the best “drill” we could have asked for. The discussions I have had with students and colleagues in the weeks following the lockdown have been very positive and constructive. There has been an open dialogue in the school concerning safety and self-defense.

Also, I must say that the school district did a great job at public relations. No regional or state newspapers reported on the incident; it wound up being no more than a local scandal, which died down after a week or so. This is also why it failed to show up on the Daily Digest on TTAG.

The most impressive part of the whole ordeal was the quick response by law enforcement. From the time the superintendent told the HR Director to call 911, to the point that he was intercepted by police as he walked out to the tech building was less 2 minutes, probably around 1:35. That is an incredible response time. We had several law enforcement agencies respond to the call, including: the city police department, highway patrol, county sheriff, and BIA officers (we are near an Indian reservation). I commend them on their punctual and professional response.

“When seconds count the police are only minutes away.” In spite of the amazing response by law enforcement, this phrase still proved true. If I was legally allowed to protect my students with a firearm, I would be able to respond within seconds. If there were other defensively minded educators with me in the school, we would be able to create a formidable resistance against armed intruders, assuming we had undergone proper training, of course.

Will I ever be able to legally defend my students with a firearm? The answer is yet to be seen. The road to concealed carry within schools is long and arduous. It is rife with legislative potholes. Shannon Watts and Michael Bloomberg have set up roadblocks and detours along this crooked highway. The media have erected billboards which perpetuate the myth that guns are dangerous in the hands of everyone except the military and police. With patience, determination, and maybe a dash of providence, we may be able to navigate this treacherous path and arrive at a destination of common sense and well defended schools.

Probably the most important lesson I took away from this experience is, as things stand, there is no way to prevent student casualties, you can only limit them. This is a reality that we as educators, and Americans, need to come to terms with. Until we do something to deter the attackers, students are always going to be vulnerable to harm.

Tucked away in my classroom I felt mostly helpless. I could protect students in my immediate vicinity, but what about other students? What about my wife? My future children? Allowing teachers and staff to be armed would give them the opportunity to prevent any further loss of our nation’s most valuable asset – our children.

That about wraps up today’s lesson. Your assignment for tomorrow: write a 4 paragraph essay on the disadvantages of bringing a pair of scissors to a gun fight.

Class dismissed.

comments

  1. avatar Rokurota says:

    Great write-up, Mr. Anonymous. Here’s another point. If the superintendent, who is proficient with firearms, had been carrying, he could have confronted the student immediately and cleared up whether it was an 870 or steel tubing. No lockdown, no disruptions. Instead, he had to go straight for the panic button.

    1. avatar LarryinTX says:

      Not from the description I saw. He headed out the door after the student was already in another building, and was intercepted by police. He was not armed, and he was not shot. But the police got to the affected building before he could. I think that part of the action went well, though I agree that the principal, at least, should have the ability to be armed if he/she so desires (I would!), provided with a locked cabinet for storage of his weapon of choice (I’d probably want a pump 12 guage.)

  2. avatar CT Resident says:

    Lucky this didn’t happen:

    “During the lockdown, a Manchester police officer was shot in the foot. However, he did not shoot himself. It was an accidental discharge by another officer.”

    http://www.wfsb.com/story/21548726/manchester-police-officer-shot-by-fellow-officer-during-college-lockdown

  3. avatar Hannibal says:

    If we want to keep students from panicking let’s make sure to use a phrase like CODE BLACK YOU’RE ALL GOING TO DIE.

    1. avatar Danny Griffin says:

      lol

    2. avatar MattfromMA says:

      My high school tried to do things sneaky-like. Instead of blatantly screaming LOCKDOWN CODE BLACK, they would page a long-retired headmaster to the office. Guy had been retired for decades, so we all knew the translation. Still don’t agree with lockdowns, but if you must have them, that’s a pretty good way to do it. For medical emergencies (which I actually do agree with, keep the students in the classrooms so the medics can move a stretcher through the hallways), they would page him to the nurse’s office.

      1. avatar Danny Griffin says:

        When I was 16 I worked at a grocery store. Their code for armed robbery in progress was to page the manager “Mr. Jenkins” to the front desk, instead of just paging “Bob” like they normally would. One day the local auto repair place called to tell Bob his car was done and asked to speak with Mr. Jenkins. Without thinking the person behind the counter paged “Mr. Jenkins.” Hilarity ensued.

        1. avatar jon says:

          These things need to be better thought out.

      2. avatar jon says:

        Isn’t that sort of a dishonor? I would be pissed if I knew my name was being used to refer to an assailant. It’s disrespectful.

        1. avatar JR says:

          Could see it the other way.

          If my name were used as a code to protect people, I’d think of that as a very high honor.

          They are not calling HIM the assailant; they are using his name to sort of secretly communicate a serious message in a short period of time.

        2. avatar Duke says:

          It seems like a bad idea trying to keep the students from knowing what is going on. A secret code for administrators only, would leave kids in various areas away from teachers with no clue that there is a possible active shooter scenario.

          The possibility of some panicking (which would be significantly reduced by having drills) would be far outweighed by communicating to EVERYONE exactly what is going on, so they can take the prescribed actions.

          I’m not saying that it should be “code black” but it shouldn’t be some secret code word. Think about it – you wouldn’t have a code word for a fire in the school that only the administrators know. That would be insane.

  4. avatar Gregolas says:

    This enlightening essay encapsulates the stupidity that is our public education system,abetted by the idiocy that is our state legislatures.

  5. avatar Chris J. says:

    Sadly, this will reinforce an anti-gun mindset in all of those children who were traumatized by that lockdown. It works incredibly well in Holder’s “brainwash children” plan, as do the normal, standard drills. The little snot who pulled the stunt needs a swift kick in the nuts to prevent the spread of his genetics.

    1. avatar Jonathan - Houston says:

      A tragedy need not have blood and death. It’s enough that it all be filled with that majestic sadness that is the pleasure of tragedy.

      Granted, Jean Racine’s observation on tragedies referred to literary works, perhaps not actual tragedies. Still.

      These school administrators aren’t monsters themselves. None of them wants anyone to get hurt, I’m sure. Although, they do want the respect and sense of importance that comes with setting the bar so low that virtually anyone, even a nearsighted principal, can be a hero for doing no more than signalling a well-intentioned false alarm.

  6. avatar G.P. Burdell says:

    Why did you leave your classroom to walk to the office after an all clear announcement? Isn’t step 5 to wait for an administrator or police office to unlock your classroom door? What if it was a real incident and the PA lady was being held at gun point and told to issue an all clear over the PA? Granted no system is perfect and I’d prefer you have your CCW, but not following step 5 is a pretty big hole in the procedure.

    1. avatar uncommon_sense says:

      “What if it was a real incident and the PA lady was being held at gun point and told to issue an all clear over the PA?”

      ^ This. I had the exact same thought.

      1. avatar LarryinTX says:

        Likewise. It was time to use your cell phone to remind the office of the correct procedure.

  7. avatar michael nieto says:

    Locking down is a terrible tactic for a mass shootin.g you’re helping any would be killer essentially creating a fish in a barrel scenario evacuation is a much better strategy

    1. avatar Roscoe says:

      There is no perfect solution. Mass evacuation would exacerbate the confusion and create an even greater shooting gallery.

      Remember Stocton, CA, 1989, Purdy shoots thirty five elementery kids and a teacher on the school playground, killing five?

      That’s what got CA the Roberti-Roos Assault Weapons Control Act of 1989.

      Lock down is probably the lesser of evils in planning for such circumstances.

      1. avatar uncommon_sense says:

        “Lock down is probably the lesser of evils in planning for such circumstances.”

        Wrong. First of all, just playing the odds, most casualties of spree killers were literally sitting ducks and very people who fled were casualties. That alone tells us that our first priority should be to evacuate. Second, it is much harder for a spree killer to hit moving targets — and to put lethal shots on them — than it is to execute stationary victims standing still against a wall or sitting still under a desk. Might a spree killer put a lot of shots on people running across the school property? Sure if there is a mass of people. But those hits would be in random locations on the victims’ bodies.

        What is most important is that students, staff, and visitors need information so they can make informed strategic decisions. If there is a spree killer event, students, staff, and visitors need to know first and foremost where the attacker is so they can decide if their best choice is to evacuate and of equal importance which direction to evacuate.

        1. avatar Roscoe says:

          Yeah, I’m sure a disorganized cluster-phuque wall of panicked students and teachers all running for their lives would be a better solution. And if they run into the shooter?

          The best that can be done under current political conditions is as here; alert, compartmentalize, delay access or slow down the shooter, and rapid response from security and LEOs.

          Heaven forbid one of these things goes down in the course of a school assembly.

        2. avatar uncommon_sense says:

          Roscoe,

          It all depends on the situation. There is not one single answer. If a school is laid out such that each classroom has an exit (whether a door or a window that can be broken out) or is right next to one, getting out provides the highest probability of survival. That is a fact. Please note that I am not advocating for people to run blindly and hysterically through a school. I am talking about a tactical decision to evacuate. In simple terms, if students, staff, or visitors hear gunshots, their best course of action is to run AWAY from the gunfire to the nearest exit and evacuate. The wisdom of that strategy should be obvious on its face.

          And like I said, information is critical. If the shooter is inside the school, getting out is the best policy. If the shooter is outside the school, staying inside is probably the best policy. But students, staff, and visitors cannot determine what to do if they have no information. That is why students, staff, and visitors need information so they can decide what is the best course of action.

    2. avatar Jonathan - Houston says:

      There are strategies appropriate for individuals and strategies appropriate for groups. Without getting into the details of the game theory dynamics of it all, suffice it to say that ideal individual strategies don’t typically scale up very well to serve as satisfactory group strategies.

      For example, fleeing at breakneck speed for the nearest exit may work well for a single individual escaping a fire. However, the masses employing that same technique are apt first to trample each other to serious injury and death, then to clog the exits dooming themselves to death by immolation and smoke inhalation. In a school active shooter scenario, that same approach would also direct most of the students into convenient fatal funnels where a killer could pick them off with greater ease, effect and swiftness than having to go room by room. In essense, it’s exchanging numerous individual small barrels of fish for fewer, larger barrels of fish.

      Beyond that, in a typical school of approximately 2,000 students, even if they could escape en masse into the parking lots, that massive, moving wall of people could provide cover for the shooter(s) to escape, too.

      Whatever the drawbacks of current lockdown procedures, and there are many, a policy of every kid for himself and take off running doesn’t seem to be a credible improvement.

      1. avatar LarryinTX says:

        Seems to me the correct option is obvious. Kids huddle on floor and be quiet, teachers draw and prepare to engage. See how many school shootings you have after that becomes popular.

        1. avatar Roscoe says:

          Agreed Larry. Unfortunately with the current mindset throughout the educational community that solution will be rare, and if employed, on the down low, so little deterrent affect.

        2. avatar JR says:

          “Unfortunately with the current mindset throughout the educational community that solution will be rare, “

          I don’t know; several states have legislation in the works to allow teachers and other staff to cc. NC is one of them, it is looks to me like the bill is gaining some momentum.

          I don’t expect it will be an easy bill to get through, but the effort is being put in.

          Who knows what we may see on the national landscape in 5 years. It may be normal for enough teachers/staff to be carrying that any would-be school shooter is seriously rolling the dice for having any effect whatsoever.

          I will say, however, that I think if teachers / staff do start getting armed, calling “Wolf” for every piece of cardboard with a gun related logo on it or gun shaped pop tart has to stop. Once we start putting defensive guns in schools, that kind of game playing should be over or likelihood of bad things goes up, not down.

      2. avatar Roscoe says:

        Thank you, Jonathan; you saved me a bunch of typing!

  8. Thanks for the write up. Looks like the super might want to have his eyes checked… It’s an honest mistake. But it reminds me of the one in KC about the heat gun sensor. All this “crying wolf” intentional or not is going to make these procedures less effective.

  9. avatar AnAnonymousShooter says:

    Future generations will be laughing at us and our “Gun Free School Zones”.

    1. avatar Roscoe says:

      We can only hope that they will laugh because such lunacy as “gun free zones” will have become a distant relic of the past, along with all the Bloombergs’, Feinsteins’, and Watts’ of the world.

  10. avatar Pencotron says:

    Code Black? CODE BLACK?!?!?

    THAT’S RACIST !!!!!!!

    /

    1. avatar Dirk Diggler says:

      not if that’s Shannon’s pet secret agent name for me 🙂 COMMENT MODERATED !!!

  11. avatar uncommon_sense says:

    “… there is no way to prevent student casualties, you can only limit them.”

    That is absolutely correct and a ginormously important point.

    1. avatar LarryinTX says:

      Nah. At Sandy Hook, they saw the fruitcake coming, had time to prepare. Two went to confront him, empty handed, and died for their courage. If one had a 12-guage and the other an AR-15 with a standard magazine, no children would have been harmed.

  12. avatar Dan A says:

    Great article, thanks

  13. avatar Sean N says:

    I’ve often wondered..
    Why is it “Code Black” or “Code Blue” or whatever? I can see it in a hospital where they do “Paging Dr. Strong”, because it alerts security without letting the offender know right off that security has been alerted.

    But in a school? You hear a panicked voice shouting “Code Black” sure, most folks will know what it is, but what about poor Timmy in the wheelchair who missed the assembly that day? He may not know what a “Code Black/red/blue/purple” is, but he damned sure knows what “Shooter on Campus” means, now doesn’t he?

    Also, really.. why would it be “Code Black”?
    The majority of school shooters in the news have been white. We have to be sensitive to racial stereotyping here. Let’s call it “Code White”. It’s not racism if it hurts the white folks feelings.

  14. avatar uncommon_sense says:

    Self-defense minded teachers should think outside of the box and plan ahead!!!!!

    If your government criminalizes good responsible people for the “crime” of being armed — strictly for righteous self-defense purposes — in a school, consider alternatives:
    (1) Keep a can of wasp spray in your desk. That can gives you a strike range of about 20 feet and will seriously impair an armed attacker’s ability to harm you or our students. Keep a box of matches handy for bonus points. (Hint: wasp spray is basically charcoal starter fluid.)
    (2) Keep a can of the really good (expensive) bear spray in your desk. It has a range of at least 10 feet and will seriously impair an attacker’s ability to harm you or your students.
    (3) Keep a wood plate with nails sticking up to throw on the floor in front of the door. An attacker who walks into a classroom will not generally be looking down. If they fail to look down and step on the nails, they will have great difficulty walking any further. It also provides a chance to deploy your wasp or bear spray as they direct their attention at the source of the intense pain in their foot. (Note: if you elect to keep such a board, make another board with holes that “mate” with the nails when sandwiched together for storage. Do it right and no one will have any idea what the thick piece of wood is for stored in a corner or under your desk.)
    (4) Keep a dozen hard baseballs or rocks (tennis ball sized) in a container in your classroom. An attacker entering your room will have a hard time doing anything productive when such objects hit them at 50+ mph.
    (5) Keep a container of vegetable oil or BBs available that you can throw on the floor in front of the door. An attacker who wipes out on a slippery surface will be in poor condition to continue attacking.
    (6) And remember to use chairs or other large objects for World Wrestling Federation style smackdowns.

    Now imagine combining some of these options … especially if you have 6th grade students or older. Seriously. Imagine an attacker coming through the door, stepping on a nail board impaling their foot, getting wasp spray in the face (possibly set on fire), a dozen students pummeling the attacker (who is now blinded and one foot is impaled on nails) with baseballs or rocks as the teacher moves in with a chair to break over the attacker WWF style.

    Is that ideal? Of course not. It is refusing to be a victim and making the best of an awful situation … and quite possibly being able to stop an attacker right then and there.

    1. avatar bontai Joe says:

      I like the way you think, and I promise to try and never make you made at me!

    2. avatar Jonathan - Houston says:

      Hmm…sounds like all we really need to do is hire Macaulay Culkin as our School Resource Officer.

      1. avatar uncommon_sense says:

        +1 for the Home Alone reference!

        In all seriousness I simply stated the obvious (or maybe not so obvious) — how to make the best out of an awful situation when you have serious limitations.

    3. avatar Ardent says:

      This sounds like one of those WTF events where the BG thanks the police for showing up and arresting him to keep him safe from his ‘victims’.

    4. avatar M. J. says:

      This is the same type of thing RF posted here a while back with the female officer saying retain situational awareness and use your surroundings to make a defense plan. I absolutely like your stratagies though. If I am ever in a GFZ work situation where we are locked down, some of these ideas make perfect sense.

    5. avatar LarryinTX says:

      6. Carry a concealed gun and expect to be harassed after you save the lives of many children, but not too much. Remember Suzanna Gratia’s story.

  15. avatar bontai Joe says:

    I graduated High school back in 1974, All through my public education experience, we had the state req’d fire drills and the occasional bomb threat that was usually some student wanted to clear the building to avoid taking a test. The difference was for the bomb threat, they had us march further out away from the school. In early elementary school, they were still doing Civil Defense drills where we all huddled in the hallways away from windows and covered our heads as if that would save us from a 50 megaton nuke. My point being that my generation did not seem to be permanently damaged from these events, so I would hope that the current generation will come out “normal”…. as normal as any teenagers ever come out. I can remember the police coming into our school to arrest students at least twice in high school (was a long time ago), but it was for drugs or for stealing stuff. No one was ever shot or stabbed, although there were plenty of fist fights, usually done in a private manner and in a semi-civilized way, where if one person gave up, the other person stopped and declared the winner and life went on as usual.

    1. avatar LarryinTX says:

      So, for a more effective school shooting, you get on top of a neighboring hill, settle in and load your AR, and then phone in a bomb threat. Smart.

  16. avatar Dirk Diggler says:

    At my church, we just say over the security radios “Paging Joshua” since he was such a bad ass in the Bible: http://www.kingjamesbibleonline.org/Joshua-8-1_8-35/

  17. avatar joe says:

    Unfortunately I work in a GFZ. We recently separated weapons from our ‘code black’ policy. ‘code black’ remains as a hostage situation where as ‘code silver’ is now person with a weapon. the new policy even has a mention of intent within the policy… If you notice a weapon but no intent you call security to talk to the individual to see if they are carrying under LEOSA, if there is a weapon and intent, immediately call code silver and evacuate.

    A few of those that i manage know that I carry outside of work and asked (seriously) if i would ‘save them’ if there was a situation. In the best way that i possibly could, i explained that it was the state government and management’s decision to leave us sitting ducks… any attempt to save someone would likely result in another victim further stressing medical resources. basically i summed it up as ‘just run as fast as you can away from the building. to your left is x and to your right is y, both are rally points.

    if you are caught in very close proximity to the shooter, attack him with everything that you’ve got. the only thing that will save you in that situation is speed, surprise and violence of action.

  18. avatar ready fire aim says:

    I’ve got your code black right here..

  19. avatar Stinkeye says:

    Great story, it’s very interesting to get an “inside” view of one of these types of lockdowns.

    Just one question: what the heck is a “paraprofessional”?

    1. avatar peirsonb says:

      Really, glorified hall monitors…

  20. avatar former water walker says:

    Did you kick the a## of the idiot punk? That was my first thought.

  21. avatar Unapologetic American says:

    The student who initiated the non-incident should be rewarded, he exposed the frivolity of the supposed “hunter” administrator “identifying” a firearm from what, a 100 yards away? I’m sure the school board, principal, and administrators will use this opportunity to raise the school tax screwing residents while enriching their pals purchasing additional cameras and security devices from friends/family owned businesses.

    Just who decided students and educators are entitled to MORE protection than anyone else in society?

  22. Bud’s is still in first place for the 320.

    This was entirely boring.

    1. avatar Tietonian says:

      “Thumper! What did your father tell you this morning?”

  23. avatar Darren says:

    Great write-up.

    There is no scenario that does not involve anything other than limiting loss of life as the bad guys get first-mover advantage. I guess if someone brandishes a weapon and announces their intent to harm with it there is a chance for a CHL holder to draw and fire, but many of the school-shooter incidents do not begin with conversations, just gunfire.

    You can make schools unattractive targets, but Code Black procedures are likely not as effective as the certain knowledge that there are armed people at the school that WILL return fire. This will take a major worldview change, one that I sadly don’t see happening. The Powers That Be know very well that their monopoly on the use of force is the major factor in their current dominance, because goodness knows they hold their current positions not for reasons of competence or overwhelming common sense. In a nation where you can be disciplined severely for biting a Pop-Tart into a rough gun shape, armed teachers or staff are well beyond the pale. Antis are more than willing to sacrifice rights they don’t hold dear if it means they can feel like they have Done Something. And let’s be honest — this is all about their feelings, not your safety.

    Has your school administration considered deploying a hashtag? I understand from our current national leadership that they are the latest thing in crisis response.

  24. avatar David says:

    This is a blog about firearms freedom with freedom being the key word. Home school or private school your children and make public schools go away. Then your children will have all the security you can provide without the govt. having a say in the matter. Endlessly Monday morning quarterbacking these type of events/non-events is missing the freedom solution. As everyone agrees there are no school shootings at schools with private security (see public servants children) or at home. At home you can even make your more mature children part of your security force.

    Cordially,

    David

  25. avatar Rich says:

    We protect our money with guns. Don’t kids rate the same protection? Scissors don’t cut it so to speak. Yoou and your students are sitting ducks. The next school event resulting in children being killed we may just see the lawsuits against the school board, the administration of the school district for failing to provide the best defense of those children. The best defense is a good guy with a gun. That is why cops carry guns and that is why 7 million US citizens’ carry guns legally. The same happened with snow and fog days giving days off school when a school bus was out in the fog and was t-boned on a US hyway in Ohio. The lawsuits resulted mutimillion payment. Now if bad weather is even forcast the buses stop running. The same will happen here.

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