Active Shooter Drills: A Mom’s Story

Headlines publicizing mass school shootings strike fear into the hearts of parents everywhere. The thought of our children being shot in cold blood in a place they should feel safe is paralyzing. Innocence lost is taking on a whole new meaning when “active shooter” drills are becoming apart of daily life in schools nationwide. One mom told me her story and what it felt like to see her own child participate in an active shooter drill . . .

A woman we will call Rose, a mother of two elementary aged girls serves as homeroom mom for her youngest who is a kindergartner at an elementary school in Austin, Texas. Rose is a Democrat who doesn’t have strong opinions about the Second Amendment. She just wants her girls to be safe at school.

Rose says parents were given prior notice that the drills would take place through an ambiguous email. Rose, serving as homeroom mom, was present for the drill to assist the teacher with the children.

“It was heartbreaking” she said, “I held back tears during the drill and then as soon as I left the room cried along with other staff members”.

According to Rose, the drill consisted of an alarm sounding with instructions to “lock down” the building on the intercom. The teachers first shut off the lights and lock their door. Then the children are instructed to remain “very quiet” as they huddle into a corner where the teacher’s desk is located (to use as a shield from bullets). The teacher then shields the group with her body as she verbally instructs the children to remain calm.

In Sandy Hook, librarian Yvonne Chech stated in an interview that during the shooting “We tried to make it a game and they asked do we get a prize? Yes, lots of candy, but you have to be quiet.”

Rose said the children were told “bad men” could come in the building. The school doesn’t elaborate.

Rose says that once the drill was complete a little boy in the class asked her, “if we just put a sign on the door to let the bad men know that we are in here, will they just go away and not try to rob us?”

What the boy didn’t know: that the bad men aren’t coming to rob him.

There’s a sign in front of Rose’s school that tells “bad men” not to enter the building with guns. At the same time, it’s telling them that the people inside have no way of defending themselves.

When I asked Rose if she thought schools should have armed security personnel, “the school should put the money from the PTA to better use than parties and events” she replied.

Rose lives in a wealthier district; the PTA brought in $100k in donations from parents last year. “Part of that money could be used to hire an off-duty police that I’m sure would love to supplement his income” she states.

It’s a sentiment that’s growing in popularity. Because both recent history and common sense say there are some things you can’t prevent. You can only prepare.

comments

  1. avatar OmnivorousBeorn says:

    How about we have two drills. The first is everyone cringing on the floor waiting to get killed. The second is everyone lighting the shooter up.

    I sincerely don’t mean this in a graphic way. Use paintball or air soft, and keep it from being too realistic.

  2. avatar Indiana Tom says:

    Duck and Cover anyone?

    1. avatar strych9 says:

      I’ve never really understood why “duck and cover” got so much fun made of it.

      People at or near ground-zero are fucked but a lot of people who wouldn’t necessarily be killed by radiation would be in substantial danger from flying glass and other structure damage related issues due to over pressure from the blast wave. That over pressure issue can travel pretty far, especially in terms of flying glass.

      Go play with NukeMap and you’ll rapidly find that over pressure is the real killer out well past what you probably expect in terms of range.

      1. avatar coagula says:

        A concussive blast is a damning blast within distance…

  3. avatar Jim B says:

    The kids will be fine. Drills aren’t going to traumatize them even if it does upset the adults. We went through them when I was a kid except the active shooter was supposed to be shooting atom bombs. We thought it was kind of a joke but was good for a break in schoolwork. I don’t recall any schools being hit by atom bombs but then I didn’t really keep up with the news back then.

    1. avatar Hank says:

      Right? Like fire or tornado drills don’t traumatize them; and I imagine burning to death is probably the single worst way to go. Kids don’t need as much bubble wrap as people think they do.

  4. avatar Mas Cool Arrow says:

    Per the earlier article, off duty or on duty police don’t help. Restore school staff constitutional rights.

  5. avatar Justin says:

    I remember one of these drills in high school after Columbians. What a farce, everyone bunch up in a corner not visible fron the door which could only be locked from the hall side. Even back then I knew this just made an easier target. I told the teacher, y’all can hide In the corner but if I hear gunshots from this direction I’m running to the exit that direction.

  6. avatar LJPII says:

    What are you crying about? Super sensitive, over emotional airheads. I don’t remember anyone crying when we had Earthquake drills or Nuclear Attack drills when I was a kid. Do folks cry in the Midwest when/if they do a Tornado drill? Or Hurricane drills on the Eastern seaboard? Violence and disaster is a reality of life. You prepare for the worst, and hope for the best. Stop crying about it.

    1. avatar TXGungal says:

      Well in Junior High, there was that Cuban Missle crisis. Nuclear weapons gift from Russia
      Parents were quite concerned but trying not to let on about possible nuclear war breaking out.
      Quite the pissing contest until Ruskies blinked

    2. avatar strych9 says:

      I think the difference is that if a tornado or an A-bomb are close enough to the building you’re basically screwed and there’s nothing you can do about it. With an active shooter you can do things about it.

      It’s probably pretty hard to sit there and watch your kid go through a drill that’s a pointless “kiss your ass goodbye” drill when more useful drills are an option and you know it.

      1. avatar TX_Lawyer says:

        “Rose” doesn’t know there is a better way. She’s a Democrat.

      2. avatar LJPII says:

        I completely understand that it is an emotional situation to think that your kid may be in danger (I’m a parent too). But not so emotional you would break down and start sobbing at the thought that dangers exist in real life. It just shows how soft we’ve gotten as a people.

    3. avatar TX_Lawyer says:

      What’s a hurricane drill? Schools are closed well before the hurricane gets there. It takes those things days to show up.

      1. avatar LJPII says:

        I didn’t know. I live on the left coast, we don’t have hurricanes here.

        1. avatar TX_Lawyer says:

          It’s just that it isn’t the first time I’ve heard someone mention a hurricane drill in last week or so. I’m pretty sure the other person claimed to be from a Gulf Coast state.

  7. avatar Ralph says:

    “I held back tears during the drill and then as soon as I left the room cried along with other staff members”.

    So moms are snowflakes too. Memo to “moms.” Suck it up and grow a pair of balls ovaries.

    1. avatar BLoving says:

      So I wonder, Ralph… if I had been in the room with that terrified mother during the drill and handed her a .38 snubbie with the words, “Here, use this if he comes in here,” I wonder if she’d have taken it.

      Okay… it was a drill… so I hand her an airsoft gun then.

      1. avatar Gordon in MO says:

        I don’t think it would be a good idea to hand a liberal snowflake a loaded weapon. They just might shoot you by accident or on purpose. They almost certainly wouldn’t know what to do with it if a shooter came in the room.

  8. avatar tjlarson2k says:

    First world problems…

  9. avatar greymas says:

    Not likely that it will be ‘bad men’ but rather one of the kids they’re teaching where to hide and what to do.
    Security theater.

  10. avatar Sam in Ohio says:

    After dark, the dog and I have a lot of time to think. (The dog mostly sleeps and I think about things.) A passing thought I’ve had this week is the wisdom of active shooter drills that involve students. Given that a student or former student is most likely to be “the shooter”, is it wise to educate “the shooter(s)” to the details of the active shooter plan?

    Reportedly, the Florida shooter planned and executed his attack to take advantage of the school’s plan increasing the lethality of the attack. Reaching back more than 25 years to being an Army officer and if the reports are accurate, we would say the enemy took advantage of the breach in operational security when executing their ambush to maximize the number of personnel in the kill zone.

    Teachers and staff should have these drills, not students. True, a teacher/staff may go off the rails and shoot up a school, but the vast majority of shooters are students/former students.

    You might wonder how the students will know what to do should SHTF? Teachers/staff will need to lead and that’s as simple as telling the students in their care, “Shut up, follow me and do what I do.”

    1. avatar TX_Lawyer says:

      “Come with me if you want to live.”

    2. avatar Glad we homeschool says:

      I think you are right that the staff should be trained, not the kids. I had a meeting in an elementary school today that just had an active shooter drill. One of the teachers told me that one of the kids didn’t do what she was supposed to do. She was in the bathroom and she went in the stall and had her legs hanging off the toilet. The teacher said she re-trained the girl that she is supposed to stand on the toilet so no one sees her legs. This is in an elementary school that only goes up to fourth grade! Teaching a young kid to hide like that in the bathroom seems traumatic to me.

  11. avatar Bob says:

    You can’t prevent school shootings. You can prevent school shootings from becoming MASS school shootings. And we should do everything possible to do that.

  12. avatar Eric in Oregon says:

    To be fair, using money for parties and events is better fiscal planning. The odds of having to fight a school shooter are infinitesimal.

    Ethically they should all have guns, but it’s hard to ignore statistics.

  13. avatar tjlarson2k says:

    Mass shooters are just today’s serial killers. The only difference is it’s a younger age demographic. It’s not “more horrific” than any other murder spree once you stop putting children on the pedestal society has for them, as if they are somehow more special than any other age demographic out there.

    Instead of Dahmer, Bundy, Zodiac killer, etc. we have mass shooters. Different boogie man, same result — fearful sheeple. And honestly, every mass shooting that followed the first televised mass shooting has been a copy cat. All for notoriety which the killers get thanks to the media.

    The only names that should be on the news are the names of the anyone that stood up against the murdering psychos trying to save lives. Not the victims and not the killers. Only the names of people that selflessly fought back.

  14. avatar TRUBRIT says:

    Parkland school has a one entrance policy with sign in. Problem, they open the gates to let 3,000 kids out. Guess how the shooter got in. One off duty or near to retirement Deputy is not the answer. This one apparantly took cover behind a wall and did not try and engage. There is a fund available for security measures. Rick Scott had already stated he would increase the budget for this by $10m next year. Unfortunately Broward County decided to take much of this fund and spend it on counseling and alternative location for teaching problem children. Maybe a gas tax of $1c would provide additional funds, or maybe a small percentage from the Florida Lotto. Lots of readily achievable options out there, it just takes money. This is where Parents should be taking there protests and demands, not gun control.

  15. avatar Joe R. says:

    For realism, post a cop outside during a majority of the exercise.

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