What to do in Case of a School Shooting

Natalie Guerro, Staff Writer

 A total of 18 school shootings have occurred within 2018, and we are just three months into the year. These issues have become more and more prominent since 1999, when the first major school massacre occurred. People in our country are now pleading for gun control from our government, because  ‘thoughts and prayers’ have just not been doing much for us as a country. What we now need is policy and change. Like many, I myself, am outraged that I even have to give advice if, hypothetically, this situation were to ever happen. Although, I feel that I owe it to myself, my teachers, and my peers to reassure ourselves of what we can do in order to preserve our safety.


     All schools usually have lockdown procedures for all students to follow. The best thing to ever do when first alerted of a shooter in the building is to listen to a teacher/adult in charge. Your principle will most likely announce further instructions of what to do through an intercom to you when first alerted. In order for you to know whether or not if you have to run or hide. If you can, ask further questions of what to do.


    Running may seem like a tempting thing to do, but it can put you in immediate danger. The best time to ever run is if you are outside with easy access to escape. An open space connected to exits are good to run also (the cafeteria, gym, or hallway etc.). If that is the best option at the moment then go directly to an exit. Do not waste any time talking to the shooter or waiting on someone else. What mostly matters in that moment is your safety. If you are wearing shoes that make it harder to run, take them off. Don’t take any extra time collecting other items either, as I’ve said before, the faster you get out the better.


           Hiding should be your number one thing to do. Use basic lockdown procedures, turn off the lights, lock doors if you can, and get in a place in the classroom not near the door. Another useful tip is to have a black piece of paper taped over the window of the class door, if there is one. If you are ever outside of a classroom when a lockdown is in process, go to the nearest classroom as fast as you can. If you can’t, find a supply closet or hide in the nearest bathroom. Refrain from making any kind of noise as much as you can. It can be scary but being calm is the most important thing. If you happen to have a device with you, put it on silent to lessen your chances of being caught. Most shootings are done within an hour or two, depending on the time police usually arrive. Do not ever open the door for anyone who says they are with the police, police will usually have keys to the doors or will break them open.


       By any chance, if you come into contact with an injured student or yourself are. Try to prevent bleeding out. Plugging the wound with your hand or finger are good ways to prevent blood loss. Another way would be by wrapping something against your body where the wound is located. It can stop the blood flow and the bleeding will be withheld from doing further damage. If you come into contact with the shooter the best thing to do is to cover the most damaging places on your body (head, back, and stomach).


     Once you are able to escape, keep your hands on the top of your heads to let police know you are not a danger. They will usually conduct a body search you once you get out. Cooperation is key, the police are there to help you on anyway they can. Don’t worry about your parents, usually there is a designated area to where you can meet them, police can lead you to that area.


     I hope no student, peer, teacher, or myself ever have to go through something horrible and tragic as this. I truly hope that if this were to ever happen that this will help in taking care of your safety for the better. My heart is with everyone affected by these tragedies and anyone who is scared and lost after these events. May we all be safe and taken care of if this were to happen to any of us.