Active shooter drills are an important tool in safeguarding your campus. However, some drills are taking it to the extreme, with children present, make up, and pyrotechnics, causing a controversial rift across school campuses from elementary to high schools. Active Shooter Drills are important, but the purpose MUST first be understood. Only then can you implement the drill for maximum effectiveness. Not many realize this and lump the three types of drills into the same category. The end result is a less informed training audience. Once you are comfortable in knowing your roll during a critical incident, like an active shooter.
There are three types of Active Shooter Drills. The First is for law enforcement and first responders. The more chaos, realism, and situations forcing the operator to to make command and team decisions, the better. This is an enhanced training that educators do not normally get the opportunity to take part of. The Second, is an instructional emphasis for children. Every attempt to explain "The Why" without causing a traumatic reaction. The Third, is the Active Shooter Drill for educators. The biggest difference is this drill is normally conducted by the school administrator in charge of safety/security. It is the implementation of the school safety plan. This drill is designed to practice what educators will do to keep students safe in the time of crisis as set forth by the protocols set in place by the school and approved by the school board.
Realism is a necessary component, but can it be taken too far? What are your thoughts?