Despite the Evidence, Schools Still Think Emergency Plans are Just Fine


By Alan Brooks

Back in April the NRA-sponsored National School Shield Task Force released its report on the best defenses against school shootings. Not surprisingly, their solutions centered on School Resource Officers and armed teachers. This also fits with the data collected by TTAG. And even the Obama administration has bought in. At least a little. Still, some school districts have balked at the idea of additional guns in their “gun free zones.” Even in the pro-gun utopia that is Texas there are school districts that stand by the tried and false notion that hiding in place is a viable defense against a murderer bent on mayhem. From one Texas school district’s emergency plans . . .


1.         Principal announces on the PA we are on lockdown.

  • lock classroom doors
  • close windows and blinds
  • Do not allow anyone to leave your room until directed to do so (you may allow students back into your room)
  • Listen to the announcements, open your email for updates
  • Keep your students actively involved.
  • Lockdown continues until termination directions come over the PA.


1.        Principal announces on the PA we are in a FREEZE
2.        TEACHERS WILL:

  • lock classroom doors
  • have students sit on the floor away from the line of sight of the door
  • keep students quiet, no noise whatsoever
  • close all window blinds

Never mind that some of those classes are in double-wide trailers that wouldn’t stop a slingshot or the fact that the cafeteria is an unguarded, target-rich environment for two hours a day. Apparently the best defense isn’t a good offense, it’s a good possum defense. Who knew?


  1. avatar Pedro Of NYC says:

    Add another reason for homeschooling

  2. avatar chainsawferret says:

    We don’t have kids yet, and will probably homeschool, but if we can’t, they’ll be told if there is a ‘lockdown’ leave out the window and don’t stop running. if the teacher gets upset that they’re not cowering as ordered, tough.

    1. avatar Accur81 says:

      Not a great plan for the second and third stories of a building, but a better plan than most for a single story building.

  3. Probably all they are thinking about is insurance liability and getting re-elected to the school board, etc… schools are sheep pens and cattle chutes.

  4. avatar pwrserge says:

    New from Vault Tech… Bulletproof desks… Because a good defense is a good defense.

  5. avatar ShaunL says:

    Fallout is one of the most amazing gun games EVER made! That’s where the pic is from.

  6. First off, yay for Vault Boy! Second, I’ve always been concerned by the idea of predetermined locations for things like bomb drills. If a student decided to plant a bomb and wanted to inflict maximum casualties, what would prevent them from calling into the school and having the faculty herd the student body right into the area of attack?

    1. avatar DJ says:

      Nothing. And that’s actually part of the terrorist playbook.

      Primary attack inflicts casualties and causes confusion.
      Secondary attack targets first responders.

      Any time you become predictable you become vulnerable.

      1. avatar Jus Bill says:

        It’s called “Double Tap.” It’s a game played with drones overseas. For now.

        1. avatar Alpo says:


          Terrorists may have done it first, but we’re doing it more.
          Of course we’re not killing innocent people. Because “all military-age males in a strike zone” are guilty.

          Wait… the terrorists invented that twisted logic too.
          Dammit! They’re always so ahead of us at all the cool innovations.


  7. avatar full.tang.halo says:

    Reminds me of the “policy” that was put into place after the school shootings of the 90’s in my high school. Student ID’s….. yes that was it, they required every student to wear their student ID’s on a lanyard around their neck, that was their fool proof master plan to ward off would be shootings. Not a single teacher or admin could tell me how this would do anything more than help with body identification if there was an actual shooting. They also “required” visitors to check in at the front office….not that someone could just open any of the 20+, unmonitored, points of entry to the building.

    1. avatar Totenglocke says:

      In the late 90’s / turn of the century, my high school also insisted we wear magical bullet deflecting ID’s. They also thought locking glass doors would keep out a would be shooter. Apparently the idiots running the school had never seen Die Hard – “Shoot the glass”.

      1. avatar pwrserge says:

        The real world results of running through a shot out window would be hilarious. Any shooter stupid enough to do it would come out bleeding like a fresh steak.

        1. avatar mark_anthony_78 says:

          Not all glass breaks into sharp shards… ever seen automotive glass broken into thousands of little beads?

        2. avatar pwrserge says:

          You’re right… Automotive glass does not. Window glass on the other hand…

        3. avatar Jeff O. says:

          Except glass doors and their surrounding glass that someone could trip or be pushed into, by code in most if not all locations, must be tempered glass. Especially at schools.

          So it would just crumble.

        4. avatar Accur81 says:

          Not necessarily – I’ve personally gone through dozens of automotive and residential / commercial windows. I’ve been cut, sure, but a baton sweep across the window threshold and a good pair of leather gloves works wonders. I have no doubt that a gun toting psycho dressed up Call of Duty style could make it through all sorts of windows.

  8. avatar Henry Bowman says:

    Duck and Cover

    1. avatar Akira says:

      If you tried to tell a “progressive” that “Duck and Cover” is a good way to protect against a nuclear bomb, they’d look at you like you’re crazy and say “are you stupid? just sit there under your desk and you’ll be totally safe? YEA RIGHT!”

      Yet, they think that the response to a mass shooter is to lock the classroom door and just sit there. It’s pretty funny how contradictory they can be.

      Oh wait, that’s actually not funny at all; children are dead because of that stupid strategy.

  9. avatar rt-texas says:

    Can we officially rename the country to the Utopia States of America? Where life, liberty and pursuit of happiness are 100% in the Governments hands.

    My country; where you have the right to cower in fear in a dark corner somewhere. I am so proud!

  10. avatar Bob says:

    Shelter in place = dying in a convenient, easy to clean up pile.

    1. avatar BDub says:

      Yeah, sometimes I wonder if these plans are less about protection and more about keeping crime scenes relatively contained.

  11. avatar Daniel says:

    My girlfriend is a new high school teacher and I recently asked her about what the lockdown procedures are for an active shooter. Basically it consisted of, locking the door, lights out and arming everybody with whatever they can grab; books, desks, computers, etc. Luckily she is in a classroom with a very heavy door that locks from the inside. While she does have fairly liberal beliefs in terms of gun laws and who should have access to them, she did admit that if they allowed teachers to carry, she would be the first to volunteer.

  12. Never mind that all the Sandy Hook child killings apparently took place in a single classroom.

  13. avatar BlinkyPete says:

    I’m not against replanning emergency measures in the face of school shootings, and I haven’t read the NRA’s study yet, but some of the suggestions (ie, bullet proof desks) raise the same concern I get when I hear about medium sized town police departments buying tanks.

    I’m all for teachers carrying – hell, I’d feel much better if at least one at my son’s school did (or at least had one locked up), but extreme measures and investments don’t make sense to me and often end up going after lesser bad guys to justify their existence. See school resource officers and higher rates of expulsion for small amounts of weed for reference.

    The truth is that school shootings are, from a statistical standpoint, vanishingly rare in occurrence and generally very unique in nature. Despite all the attention they get, it’s never been safer to be in school in America. I’m not being dismissive, but fear and dead children don’t make for good laws or policies, no matter how good the intentions.

  14. avatar Martin says:

    Great job on the fallout pic from the vault text manual.

    Sorry if this is spam but check out this game it is the sequel to the game that inspired fallout , and by the same creator too

    Www. wasteland.inxile-entertainment

  15. avatar chuck (hates nj) says:

    Wow great plan just make sure you don’t tell the shooter you’re closing the door, closing the blinds and turning the lights off. Haha those crazy bastards will be so busy looking in the well lit open door classrooms they won’t be able to find the sitting ducks.

  16. avatar SelousX says:

    Yay Vault Boy!
    Boo head-in-the-sand school administrators!

  17. avatar I'm confused says:

    I was a slow learner. In the 50’s we used to hide under desks, they told us this would save us from nuclear radiation. About the age of 10 I realized the desk was useless. I am a RC and asked my mother about the same time, Why are all the cardinals Italians? She told me they were the holiest.

    I quickly realized that those in power have 1 goal: To stay in power.

    The school shootings don’t compare to drownings in swimming pools, prescription drug deaths, etc. but who cares about that? Put a sticker on the drugs, write as many scrips as you can type and put a sticker on the side of the pool and in the manual. DONE!

    Someone told me once the chances of getting in a gunfight were about the same as getting hit by lightning. Tell me if I’m wrong on this one.

    So I avoid lightning and get indoors, not under a tree AND I home carry.

  18. avatar Aharon says:

    If I was a student and I heard gunshots from within the building or from an outside area well away from the windows my classroom faced I would go out through a window even if I had to throw a chair through it — the hexx with the rules — and run like a wild teenager chasing after free beer.

  19. avatar Alpha Pappa says:

    I hate Lockdown. It took sandy hook to convince my wife that escape and evade is better than huddle and hide.
    Now she plans to GTFO when something bad happens. Told her at least she will be alive for the school to fire her.

    1. avatar Jeff O. says:

      Yeah, I work at a school.

      I’m either bolting, or sheltering into the electrical closet w/roof access.

      1. avatar Jus Bill says:

        Trouble is if you suddenly pop up on the roof of a locked-down school a twitchy, amped up SWAT sniper will probably pop you. Especially in a medium to small town, where there is zero trigger discipline and Rambo is training media.

  20. avatar jerry says:

    Understanding budget constraints, but having an SRO in the majority of schools in my county gives me some piece of mind. Having teachers carry is still, in my opinion, the best defense against an active shooter. Locking the door and lying down under a desk is not the position I want my daughter or son in if, God forbid, they have to endure something like this.

  21. avatar Wyfaggro says:

    This sounds less like a possum strategy than an ostrich strategy.

  22. avatar Todd S says:

    In the district where I teach, we use the ALICE system. We no longer shelter in place. The idea is to get as far away as possible. If that isn’t possible, you fight back with everything you can. As a chemistry teacher, I have LOTS of stuff to use. History teachers can beat an attacker with a globe, I suppose.

    No guns, though, because, you know, police.

    1. avatar Ardent says:

      While we know that any resistance is better than cowering, the image of students and teachers going at an active shooter with books and pens causes an emotion in me that I cannot adequately describe. It’s some species of horror I suppose, coupled to a sense of futility, mixed up with some ‘let’s roll’ heroic fervor and built on a foundation of mind numbing rage. It’s the sort of feeling that makes you actually want to see some of the people opposed to arming teachers forced to do the same because that wouldn’t feel like horror, it would feel like justice.

      1. avatar Rich Grise says:

        Yes. I don’t know if it’s applicable here or not, but your post brought to mind “there are no atheists in foxholes.”

  23. avatar Mack Bolan says:

    / Sarc /

    Well the savvy school shooter now knows that the principals office should be the first stop on their rampage.

    Way to compromise an otherwise brilliant saftey plan TTAG. Clearly you care nothing for the children.

    / Sarc /

  24. avatar LJM says:

    Unfortunately until Al-Qaeda attempts or successfully completes a Beslan type attack, we won’t see a “common sense” approach to school safety.

    But instead of 26 casualties, you’ll potentially have hundreds. And at THAT point, perhaps people on the Left will realize the People of the Gun actually know what we are talking about. Or instead of guns, domestic terrorists go to fire as happened in Bath.

    1. avatar Jeh says:

      Wishful thinking but were dealing with a group of people with the IQ of a bug. Someone shouting Communist propaganda wearing a Hitler suit and carrying an “I love Obama” sign could blow up 10 schools with an AQ style I.E.D and they’ll still scream: It was HIM the Tea Party member with his explosive assault bullets!!!! Ban guns!!!

  25. avatar FionnMacCumhail says:

    A few months ago I had a talk with a friend who is a school principle. He told me he had one set of consultants advising about school shootings. They told him to move all teachers’ desks out of line-of-sight of the door, and in the event of an active shooter, have the kids shelter behind the desk.

    This directly contradicted the consultants he’d had in regarding preventing sexual abuse of children by teachers (as well as false accusations of the same). Those experts advised always keeping teachers’ desks in full view of the door.

    This leaves administrators with the decision of which disaster to plan for – the extremely unlikely but catastrophic case of an active shooter, versus the relatively more common but somewhat less catastrophic case (in the sense that the victims are traumatized but not dead) of an accusation of sexual abuse (true or false). Pick your poison.

    1. avatar Jus Bill says:

      Actually, this leaves school administrators with the decision of which paid professional BS artist to sue when something bad happens.

  26. avatar Ralph says:

    When I was six, I knew that huddling under my desk in the dark wasn’t going to protect me from an atom bomb. Sixty years later, I know that huddling under a desk in the dark isn’t going to protect a kid from a bad guy with a gun.

    During the height of the Cold War, we were safe even though our “leaders” wanted to keep us agitated and fearful. We were safe because the Russians wanted to protect their children as much as we wanted to protect ours.

    Now, people have gone insane. The political left wants only to advance its anti-cultural, big government agenda and revels in piles of dead children. Shameful. Shameful.

    1. avatar lurker says:

      When I was six, I lived on a SAC bomber base. We did not do duck and cover. When I was about 12 I saw my school destroyed (via SFX) in a simulated nuke attack on SAC HQ in a CBS special. And yes it was the real school used in the show.

      1. avatar Ralph says:

        I hope they let most of the kids out first.

  27. avatar Jeh says:

    A 9mm cares about a plexy glass door about as much as an atom bomb cared about a desk.

  28. avatar H.C. says:

    Legal Question. Say a teacher says “to the hell with the rules”, has a CCW, and packs heat anyway. The unlikely event of an active shooter happens, some people are unfortunately killed, but said teacher smokes the active shooter and halts the attack shortly after it begins. Besides most likely being fired for breaking the school’s rules, do you think any DA is going to touch that case and try to prosecute? Loss of CCW? The same scenario could be applied to a college student doing the same? What say you legal experts out there, either legit or jail-house? Thanks, always wondered about this one and how the MSM would paint it (e.g. Fox = Hero MSNBC = Zero)

    1. avatar Jus Bill says:

      I suspect the Propaganda Ministry will recast the teacher as a “heroic bystander” and everyone will look the other way, put their hands in their pockets, and walk away whistling a happy tune.

      And the gun control lobby will scream for more gun laws, because [please send $10].

    2. avatar Ralph says:

      The answers to your questions depend on the power of the local teachers’ union.

  29. avatar Billy says:

    At least one local school district here in Texas has some common sense. Trouble is, the town (not really even big enough to call it that) is out in the middle of no-where, but it’s a nice gesture anyway.

  30. avatar Danny says:

    I can say a lot of my classrooms in high school and in college are in concrete buildings with large metal doors. Would these stop a shooter from getting in? Maybe. I’m still fucked if it fails.

  31. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

    What people need to realize here is this:

    Most teachers are female. Most of the employees in school systems are female. Most of the male administrators are used to working with females and are likely somewhat feminized themselves.

    Women aren’t focused on the end goal. They’re concerned with “process.” They want to have a process to follow, and they want consensus and agreement upon that process.

    When men look at these situations, they have goals in mind:

    1. Prevent innocent people from being killed.
    2. The best way to accomplish #1 is to kill the assailant. Dead attackers stop attacking.

    Ergo, the goal-directed outcome is “kill the attacker,” which stops the attack, which protects innocents from being killed or injured. Our process becomes “kill the bad guy, by whatever means possible.”

    This type of thinking is alien to many women. It alarms them. They start saying “but, but, but, but…” and coming up with all manner of hypotheticals.

    Women are not going to get on board with a goal-driven outcome. They want a process. What you see above for a “plan” is a process. No goal-directed outcome need apply. There are no goals stated in that policy. There’s just a laundry list of actions to take. Screw the actual outcome. They want a list of steps to follow, on which there is supposed to be no diversion.

    I’ve dealt with quite a bit of this in my professional career. Women want to know “how” and “when” they’re going to get to a goal, and they spent an absurd amount of time worrying about “how” goals would be achieved. Often, I’d indicate that I didn’t give a rat’s ass how I was going to achieve a goal, but that it was going to be achieved, and ASAP. Ergo, lead, follow or get out of the way.

    Oh, the hours of touchy-feely BS I had to endure, listening to women explain why they couldn’t accept that accomplishing a goal was all that was needed.

    In my increasingly cynical age, I’ve come to the conclusion that women love to talk about solving a problem but they don’t want to actually solve the problem, which is why you’ll rarely see school systems take actions to actually solve these problems.

    1. avatar Not So 1337 says:

      Sir, if only there was a woman like you, I’d rethink my views on marriage.

    2. avatar ChuckN says:

      You’re spot on but you don’t carry it far enough. Many school systems
      don’t even take their own plans seriously. Recently my local Fire Dept.
      had to outright threaten school officials in order to get monthly
      fire drills. Drills for an active shooter or explosives, forget it.

      It’s even worse when you consider levels of training and experience.
      I sub in a local school that has 20 teachers. Most of the teachers I’ve
      met couldn’t even tell you what ICS or NIMS is, let alone how to
      employ it. I am the only one who has ever been in an emergency
      situation. After hosting and watching drills at schools in the county,
      I can say that I have ZERO faith that the teachers wouldn’t panic and
      become disoriented during a real incident. Those few who wouldn’t
      panic, I fully expect to not take an incident seriously because they
      have an ingrained sense of “it’ll never happen here”.

  32. avatar Gnsafetypro says:

    Escape has to be an option as well

    1. avatar William Burke says:

      I certainly would agree that it MUST be an option, if we’re serious about protecting schoolchildren. I mean, IF, right?

      Trouble is, the school administrations will not look at it this way.

  33. avatar JLR84 says:

    To be fair, there’s nothing inherently wrong with lock down procedures. They can do a great deal to limit the damage that an active shooter can cause.

    Of course the thing that people don’t like to talk about is that the lockdown procedures in Newtown worked. Lanza was thwarted in his attempt to find additional victims. So he simply went around in the room(s) that he’d already taken, and summarily executed all of the wounded. That’s why when compared to most spree shootings, there were virtually no wounded survivors.

  34. avatar wolfpack 46 says:

    1. Am I wrong or it seems to me that progressives are the one’s always shooting up something????

    2. That “Guns Free Zones” always sounded terrible to me until I finally realized that during the mission brief, when I was in active duty, I always loved the weapons status part of the briefing. Guns free, you get to shoot anything that moves infront of you.

    1. avatar Rich Grise says:

      How the grabbers think gun-free zones work:

      1. avatar wolfpack 46 says:

        Good one Rich// lol

  35. avatar William Burke says:

    They HAVE to believe everything is just fine; that’s the civilian disarmament MINDSET. “Well, I think we’ve done a good job; we’ve done our best, RIGHT?”

    1. avatar Not So 1337 says:

      “Your best? Losers always whine about their best. Winners go home and **** the prom queen.”

      I’m sorry, I saw it and I had to.

  36. avatar S.CROCK says:

    and not to mention that during assembly, the students are lined up in the bleachers in the gym.

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