One emergency situation that none of you parents ever wants to experience is a mass shooting at the public school your children attend. Several years ago this was an unheard of event, public school is where you send your children to get a good education and be safe, right?
Well, unfortunately, things are not the same anymore as there have been numerous major school shootings in the US since the Columbine High School shootings in 1999. I know, some of you think that the chances of it happening in your town are very slim, but it only has to happen once and catch you unprepared to bring a lot of trouble. So it’s time to talk about this in today’s article and decide if your children should bug out from school during a school shooting!
Today, most schools have implemented what they call ALICE (Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter Evacuate) in case of “active shooter” scenarios. There are also different programs and policies that are in place and ready to kick in if such a horrible event takes place, with many schools teaching students how to act, behave and try to take matter in their own hands in the situation requires it.
Here is what ALICE training has to say on how to handle the situation:
But… lockdown is no longer enough!
There are three basic options during a similar situation, so we have three options during a school shooting crisis as well: run, hide, or fight. You can run away from the shooter, seek a secure place where you can hide and/or deny the shooter access, or incapacitate the shooter to survive and protect others from harm. If running is not a safe option, hide in as safe a place as possible. Students and staff should be trained to hide in a location where the walls might be thicker and have fewer windows. In addition: Hide along the wall closest to the exit but out of the view from the hallway (allowing for an ambush of the shooter and for possible escape if the shooter enters the room).
MULTIPLE RESPONSE OPTIONS NEEDED
As the situation develops, it is possible that students and staff will need to use more than one option.
THOSE IN HARMS WAY SHOULD MAKE THEIR OWN DECISIONS
While they should follow the plan and any instructions given during an incident, often they will have to rely on their own judgment to decide which option will best protect lives.
So, despite the nice words and obvious things to do, in the end it’s still one individual’s judgement that has the potential to save the person or turn them into a victim. While schools are taking action to try to better prepare themselves for these types of incidents, putting your children in the hands of a teacher with most likely minimum to no survival training is not the most comforting thing, is it?
So, should we teach our children to bug out during a school shooting? Should we teach our children to try to escape during such a horrible incident?
Obviously, this all depends on the age of your child, maturity level, and numerous other factors. But I believe that if you feel that your child is capable of bugging out on thir own and has more survival skills than the teacher that is leading his/her way, then by all means I think you should teach them to get out anyway they can.
Even more, even if your children don’t have survival skills and are not really prepared for this situation, you can start training them early on. Don’t try to turn them into Rambos or super soldiers or survival experts if they are not into it, but teach them the basics and let them know at least a minimum of things – things that could help them survive a school shooting or any other similar incident.
Here are some other thing to consider before you lay out a school bug out plan for your children:
- Do you have more than one child in the school?
- Are both able to bug out on their own or will the older sibling have to lead the younger?
- How easy will it be for your older child to meet up with his/her younger sibling?
- If the siblings do not meet up do they abandon the bug out?
If your decision is to set up a bug out plan then lets get planning! There are many things that you will need to have prepared for them beforehand to make this easier.
One of the most important things to have in mind is that many kids could consider learning about this completely exaggerated and plain stupid, so they might be reluctant to learn anything. Present it as a game, use diplomacy and be patient. Remember that it’s for their best interests, in the end, so do all you can to make them learn the skills and information required!
At least one of your children should have a school safe bug out bag that they carry to school. Make sure it is equipped with water, food, extra clothes, cell phone or walkie-talkie, a small first-aid kit, blanket, fire starting tool, local map and contact lists to call when they get to the “safe spot”. This is not a must if the kids are not into this thing because a school shooting doesn’t normally involve more than a few hours of mayhem, so a bug out bag might not be necessary. If you want to have them ready for other potential problems, it won’t hurt though and it teaches them to be prepared at all times.
Have a primary and secondary “safe spot” for your kids to either meet up or go to first. This place should be within a few miles of the school and in an area that is hidden from the main road. This can be the spot where you teach your kids to make contact, then decide the next plan of action.
PRACTICE THE DRILL! Decide on a few different routes from the school to the “safe spot”. Make sure you try to stay away from main roads. Practice taking each route with your children, then make them take the routes on their own.
Once contact is made, train your children to access the area and situation, is it safe for you to come in and meet them or should they continue on foot to an area better suited for pick up?
These things should be planned together, get input from your children, most likely they know the area much better than you do. Remember to have an abort plan as well, sometimes the scenario will not be beneficial for a full bug out, but your children should still make contact with you and each other. If you have trained your children about prepping, and survival skills, you have to trust that they, in an disaster situation, will be better trained that their teacher.
Do any of you have similar plans in place for your children? I know this is a controversial topic, but this is what makes it one that’s suitable for intense debate: How do you prepare your children for the eventuality of a school shooting and are you for bugging out or hunker down?