Currently the state of Texas does not require its schools to participate in any lockdown or active shooter training. That needs to change. There needs to be some sort of training program that is focused on protecting all students and faculty, and getting them to safety as quickly as possible.
It is commonplace to see news of gun violence on American televisions. According to a nonprofit organization called Gun Violence Archive, there have been a total of 289 mass shootings this year and 20 of them have happened in Texas (mass shootings, used here, is a tally based on gun violence instances where more than four people were injured or killed).
In addition, Texas is one out of nine states that does not require its schools to have any kind of mandatory active shooter training.
In light of recent events in Odessa and El Paso, it is clear that there needs to be a way to prepare people in case something happens in schools.
Active shooter drills can help provide practice, resources and information that everyone should know if there is a mass shooting. Having the proper training and knowledge when handling a situation like this is absolutely necessary. If there aren’t strategic drills put into place and an event occurs, no one will know what to do, putting their lives in danger.
That being said, active shooter drills must be introduced and executed properly to prevent major psychological harm to students and faculty. In some past training scenarios, there have been students who weren’t properly informed or were too young to fully understand what was happening. This can cause them to be terrified to return to school after the drill.
Within states that currently require schools to hold these training programs, groups of younger children are being affected the most. It should be the number one priority of the faculty and trainees to protect and properly teach these students how to effectively get out of an active shooter situation without instilling fear into their young hearts.
Children should be free to have fun and enjoy going to school without having to worry about whether or not they’ll get to go home to their families at the end of the day.
If we continue to experience mass shootings as frequently as we have in the past few years, proper safety training will continue to become more crucial. We must also continue to keep working on finding the most beneficial ways to educate our students and faculty on proper security measures.