There are those who feel they could be traumatized.
Frederick, Md (KM). There have been some concerns raised about the impact of school shooter drills on students. Maryland law requires schools to hold at least one school shooter drill annually. But in Frederick County, these drills are unannounced, and that has brought up concerns about some students being traumatized.
Board of Education President Brad Young says he’s listening to these concerns. “Some people may see it as traumatizing to the student. But I’d rather have them a little traumatized then not know what to do in the event that an actual situation occurred at their schools,”: he says.
Young says Scott Blundell, the School System’s Supervisor of Security and Emergency Management, has developed a method that students, teachers and other staff can put into action in case of an active assailant: avoid, deny and defend. “When there is an active assailant in a school, the first thing you should try to do is avoid that situation. If you can’t avoid it, then put yourself in a place where you can try to deny access to that person from getting to where you are. And finally, if you cannot deny access to them, you should defend yourself. That might mean throwing things at them, and doing whatever you can to try and get away,” he says.
There has been talk nationwide of arming teachers and other staff. Young says there’s opposition to that locally. “Based on my personal beliefs and others, I’m not sure that’s something that’s wise,” he says. “In conversations I’ve had with local folks, I don’t think there’s a desire to do that.”
Young says the School System works with the Sheriff’s Office to try to keep the schools safe, which includes placing a school resource officer in each of the high school feeder patterns. There are also a number of security systems in place, as well as protocols for visitors to the schools. But he acknowledges it’s not perfect. “Most of our schools have outside activities, and all of our buildings have multiple, multiple doors. So if somebody’s intent on doing something heinous, they’re probably going to be able at least get away with it for a period of time. But we feel with the protection that we have that it can be handled quickly,” he says.
As one way to keep schools safe, Young is asking parents to control their children’s use of social media. That includes monitoring what their kids do so they don’t post anything that’s improper, and that their children are not being bullied or harassed on line. “Since the evolution of social media, the issues that our administrators and police have gone up ten fold. So a lot of resources are wasted on tracking down stupid things that kids post on social media,” he says.
“I would advise any parent to avoid your child having that as long as possible,” says Young,.
By Kevin McManus