These steps will be exponentially more effective in saving lives than any gun control regulations:
School administrators across the country have worked with police departments in recent years to create detailed plans to secure their schools, an effort that was redoubled after the December 2012 shootings in Newtown, Conn. At the whiff of a threat, teachers are now instructed to snap off the lights, lock their doors and usher their students into corners and closets. School officials call the police. Students huddle in their classrooms for minutes or hours, texting one another, playing cards and board games, or just waiting until they get the all clear.
“They kept saying, ‘Lock your doors and keep everyone away from the windows,’ ” said Rebecca Grossman, a 10th grader at Watertown High School, outside Boston, where students have been forced to “shelter in place” three times this school year, a less serious version of a full lockdown.
The lockdowns were more disruptive than scary, Rebecca said, like the time last month when a bullet was discovered in a classroom, and she and her classmates had to stay in place for four hours. She said the litany of false alarms was desensitizing students, who have come to see the responses as “just an annoyance.”
The lockdowns are part of a constellation of new security measures deployed by schools over the last decade, a complement to closed-circuit cameras, doors that lock automatically and police officers in the building. Most states have passed laws requiring schools to devise safety plans, and several states, including Michigan, Kentucky and North Dakota, specifically require lockdown drills.
I have talked about similar concerns with professors at my law school. Currently, there is absolutely no way to lock a classroom from the inside. The doors can be locked from the outside but I have no key. Also, there is no moveable furniture that can be used to barricade the doors. I think, and worry about these kinds of things.
For example, this story references the incident at Arapahoe high school. By following these procedures, lives were saved.
Last month, when an 18-year-old student walked into his high school in suburban Denver and fatally shot a classmate in the head, students huddled in their classrooms behind locked doors as police commandos swept the building. They were evacuated classroom by classroom, hands over their heads, onto the snowy playing fields, all according to a plan school officials had put in place to prepare for just such an emergency.
“The staff and students knew how to safely lock down and then evacuate the school,” Scott Murphy, the district schools superintendent, wrote to parents after the shooting at Arapahoe High School in Colorado, praising what he called a well-coordinated response. “They acted quickly, appropriately, and bravely.”
These steps are consistent with a recent report from Texas State University which suggests the most effective way to halt mass shootings is for armed officers to rush the shooter right away, rather than waiting to assemble a team.