Active Shooter Alert Drill

Due to the school shootings in recent years, colleges have had to come up with a plan if there is an ‘active shooter’ on campus. I was in the ladies room last week and noticed a large poster advertising that there was going to be a drill today.

Andy had explained to me what a student was supposed to do if the alarm was sounded: students are to gather at the back of the room, turn off the lights, and if possible cover the windows.

I completely forgot about the drill and was in the computer lab when the alarm sounded. The computer people told us all in very calm voices to gather in the middle of the lab and get down on the floor. They shut off the lights as many students listening to iPods stood up confused.

Knees popping, I slowly crouched on the floor staring at the other irritated students. Gathering in a group doesn’t make sense to me. I sat there thinking about Battleball aka Dodgeball. In playing Battleball as a middle schooler (trying to run away from Jackie Cain who had an arm like a NFL Quarterback) I soon realized that by huddling up with the other scared girls (seriously Jackie’s arm was amazing!) I was an easy target for one of those little hard balls that always seemed to find my left ear. Incidentally I still have a flinch and hold my left ear every time something is thrown at my face.

I found that by separating myself from the group, I had much better odds of survival. It seems that if an armed gunperson is looking for victims, a bunch of students huddled together on the floor makes an easy target. I think that hiding under my desk (much like the tornado drills of my childhood) would be a sound strategy.

What do you think?


4 responses to “Active Shooter Alert Drill

  1. activeshootersurvival

    Your absolutely right. 1st thing to do is to escape if possible, a safe room is next. A locked door, lights out, spread out, use furniture and school books, bags, etc. as a buffer zone between you and the shooter. However, realize you will catch flak from the administrator or teacher, as they are following the procedures taught for that educational institution.

  2. 1st of all your welcome on the last comment. I might further advise that if you decide to light out on your own, that you keep in mind that if your not sure of being able to escape, your chances may be better with numbers (students who will fight back if cornered). If you run on your own and cannot get out of the building, you may not be able to get back into a safe room or a room full of people, because most have been taught not to open the doors for others, as they could be possible shooters. A lot to think about!

  3. You couldn’t be more right. Jackie Cain did have an arm like a cannon and I hated playing dodgeball with her. And April McPherson. She hurt, too.

  4. Huddling in a group is not a good thing, however hiding under a table does little as well, proven in the Columbine shooting. For free information on how to survive a shooting go to

    Teach and help your fellow students how to survive….save a life with these techniques.

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