How our faculty dealt with the chaos of an energetic shooter hoax

How our faculty dealt with the chaos of an energetic shooter hoax


Key factors:

  • Each second is crucial throughout a faculty emergency, and having the fitting instruments is a should
  • An emergency response app helped one faculty chief obtain and deploy clear communication

I used to be in a gathering after I heard the sirens. I instantly excused myself and noticed the primary squad automobile screech to a halt in entrance of our doorways and knew it was unhealthy. The police division had simply acquired a name saying there was an energetic shooter someplace at Spanish Fork Excessive Faculty and two college students have been deceased.  

Because it seems, we have been the sufferer of a coordinated hoax that focused faculties all through Utah and different states, however for the subsequent 24 minutes, this was our actuality and as principal, I needed to act. My feelings nearly bought the higher of me; not solely do I care deeply about each one in every of our 1,469 college students, I even have a daughter who was in school simply down the corridor. I nearly misplaced my motor abilities however was capable of pull my cellphone from my pocket to immediately lock down the varsity with the push of a button and watch our emergency plan unfold nearly flawlessly earlier than my eyes.   

To completely perceive the significance and energy of that easy act, we have to take a step again. I’ve been the varsity’s principal for 4 years. Though we had printed an emergency plan and carried out drills 4 or 5 instances yearly, from day one, I felt there was one thing off or lacking from these plans. We had the usual procedures and directions for locking school rooms, counting college students and making bulletins on the PA system, however nothing that might assist us know what’s happing within the second, coordinate actions between legislation enforcement and faculty directors or talk with lecturers and workers to successfully handle the chaos.  

A number of months in the past, I used to be approached by a former scholar who needed to introduce me to a know-how referred to as AEGIX AIM (Lively Incident Administration) that different faculties have applied to handle the very challenges I used to be fearful about. We acquired approval from the district to put in and pilot the software program. As destiny would have it, we completed rolling it out and carried out workers coaching on it precisely one week earlier than the energetic shooter hoax was perpetrated.   

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