For educators from coast to coast, having to deal with an active shooter situation is quite possibly the worst nightmare to face in his/her career. Where is the shooter at this very moment? How long will it take for the shooter to reach your classroom? What actions will you take to keep your students safe? The truth is that active shooter situations can be difficult to plan for because each event is unique. In some scenarios, the assailant is a stranger who has forced his/her way into a school building with the sole purpose of taking as many lives as possible. In other cases, the shooter is a student – someone who knows the school layout and may be targeting known teachers and/or classmates. Whatever the situation may be, following this active shooter response plan can help you ensure you and your students’ safety.
Active Shooter Response Plan
Depending on your school’s active intruder protocols, there is most likely some sort of code that is broadcasted over the intercom system to alert all within the building that a potential threat has been detected. If such a system is not currently in place, consider speaking with the school Principal and Super Intendant about implementing such a plan. The moment you have been alerted of such an intruder, execute the following active shooter response plan immediately:
If your classroom has direct access to the outdoors, whether this is through a window or door, it is imperative that all students evacuate to safety as quickly and quietly as possible.
2) Out of Sight
If your classroom does not have access to the outdoors, quickly turn your classroom’s lights off. Close and lock your classroom’s door. If you are able to place a piece of heavy furniture in front of the door, do so.
All students should be moved to one corner of the room – preferably the same corner that the door is located on to minimize the chance that an intruder could peer through the door’s window and see anyone. If your door does have a window, tape a piece of paper over this area to obscure the intruder’s vision into your room. Please ensure that all students remain silent as they wait for the intruder to exit the building.
3) Alert Those Who Can Fight
In cases like these, the Guard 911 app is a good ally to have on your side. Simply take out your smartphone and open the Guard 911 application. Click the red “Report Armed Intruder & Call 911” button in the center of your screen. By clicking this button and confirming that you intended to report an active shooter situation, the Guard 911 app will carry out four main tasks simultaneously: dial 911, alert all Guard 911 users within the area to take cover, alert Guard 911 protectors (on- and off-duty officers) within a 5-mile radius of the active threat and pinpoint your precise location for officers to find you.
If you do not have access to the Guard 911 application, you are still advised to dial 911 and report the active threat. The sooner you can reach emergency services, the sooner officers can arrive to prevent loss of life.
Having a direct line to authorities during an active threat is vital to executing a fast and efficient active shooter response plan. To learn more about how Guard 911 empowers ordinary people to save extraordinary lives, visit our website here. For more information on how to handle an active shooter situation, the United States Department of Homeland Security offers this insightful, free guide.