Tips You Haven’t Heard About Surviving School Shootings


Emma Walrath, Headline News Editor

Twenty years since the shocking Columbine shooting, school shootings have become a mundane part of the news in Americans’ lives. There are safety steps that have become almost cliche like getting under your desk, turning off the lights, and locking the door. More than half of the time, school shooters are current or former students; therefore, the idea that following those current procedures would help save students’ lives is crazy. If this person knows the campus and procedures, they would know exactly where the students are hiding.

The lockdown system doesn’t work, it needs to have an overhaul. The newest and most effective steps are as follows:

Evacuate: Do not run toward gun fire or a shooter, obviously, but if there is a way to get out of there in a safe way, then go. Do not make you or anyone else a sitting duck.

Barricade: If there is no way out, then you need to make sure there is no way in. Clearly lock the door, but then be resourceful and keep the shooter outside as there are ways to get through a lock. This is where you begin to barricade.

This can be done in two ways. First, if it is a push door, put heavy and tall furniture in front of the door. Get creative as well, place things that will fall when the door opens, think Home Alone. If it is a pull door than it most likely has this at the top:

These can be used to prevent the door from opening. Take your belt, or a computer cable or anything you can think of and wrap it as tight as you possibly can so that it can’t extend and open.

Another boobie-trap type thing you can do is tie a desk to the handle of the door so if they get it open it will swing out and hit them. You want to throw off the shooter, do the unexpected.

Hide: Now, after the room is as impenetrable as it’s going to get, hide. You don’t want to draw any attention to your room, talk as little as possible and silence all phones (it is not your responsibility to call the police, as soon as there is a shot fired, the police will and should be on their way, it takes about 8 minutes for them to get to Sahuaro). If your classroom has no place to hide DO NOT GET UNDER ANY DESKS. The best place to be is against the wall with the door, the teacher needs to be closest to the door. If the shooter gets in, they are most likely not going to turn in the direction of the wall immediately after they enter.

Fight: This is a last resort, do not seek out the shooter. As a teacher, or whoever is closest to the door, it is your responsibility to stop them. When they enter the room, it is very likely that they will be leading with their gun. Since you are closest to the shooter, you can jump on them, grab the top of the gun, face it away from anyone, and hold it tight. This will cause the gun to jam and not fire.

Then, get the gun away from them. You also should try to be armed with some kind of improvised weapon like scissors as the shooter will most likely have more than one weapon. Do whatever you need to do to stop them.

Once they are down, get all the weapons as far from the shooter and you as you can, you don’t want to be holding that when SWAT enters.

I hope no one ever has to actually use these tips, but they could save you or someone else so share what you know.