A Look at How School Training for an Active Shooter Is Evolving

By Laura Spadanuta (Print Edition)

When a person faces a life-threatening situation, like an active shooter, higher analytic functions shut down. But training can ensure that the proper response to the threat occurs almost instinctively. That’s the basis of boot-camp training for soldiers. Police and private security professionals have long understood the need for strong training programs. In the wake of deadly shootings at Columbine and elsewhere, K-12 schools have come to realize that one or more attackers with modern large-capacity weaponry can cause massive loss of life before the police are able to arrive on the scene and intervene. Thus, students and staff will have to confront the threat on their own. Given that reality, schools are starting to put more emphasis on the importance of training students and staff in various response scenarios. And that's the focus of this month's cover feature.

The approaches to active-shooter training are evolving, especially in light of the recent Newtown and Aurora shootings. Not everyone can agree on the best approach, but they all agree that any training program must be tailored to the school, taking into consideration the facility’s layout, the makeup of the classes, and other characteristics.

Two popular active-shooter response-training approaches that go beyond traditional lockdown in active-shooter training are Department of Homeland Security (DHS)-supported “Run Hide Fight,” and ALICE (Alert-Lockdown-Inform-Counter-Evacuate).

Click here to read the full August Security Management cover story.

 Flickr photo by gregorywass


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