As I’m sure you are all well aware, there was unfortunately another tragic school shooting at Great Mills High School in Maryland. However, this time, there was a different result. Great Mills employed a competent, trained and frankly, heroic school resource officer who was on school property at all times. Officer Blaine Gaskill was able to show the tremendous benefits of a proactive approach to school safety.
We talk to a lot of schools and we hear numerous concerns in regards to having a school resource officer on campus full time. I can understand that this may be an uncomfortable reality for some. However, frankly, the statistics I will give in this blog post PROVE that an officer on campus is essential to the safety of students and teachers.
The average time it takes an active shooter to carry out their plan from the first to last shot is anywhere from 2-7 minutes. The average length of time it takes the police to arrive, by the time they are notified, is anywhere from 3-5 minutes.
Now, let’s look at these numbers in real time. It is very rare that the police will be notified the second a shot is fired. It normally will take some time for the person to gather themselves, seek cover and find a phone to make the notification to 9-11. Let’s say the first shot is fired during lunch time at 12:01pm and the police are called at 12:02pm. Even if the police arrive, enable a quick reaction plan and enter the building, in the hopeful time of 3 minutes, the shooter has had 4 uninterrupted minutes. FOUR. You may think that four minutes is not that long of a time, but think of how long four minutes feels for those who are terrified and trapped inside. And mind you, four minutes is the BEST case scenario.
Now, let’s imagine a highly trained officer is on the school campus at all times. They will know the “mood” of the school and be able to be on the look-out for any potential threats. As we’ve all learned, the myth of someone “just going crazy out of nowhere” is false. In most, if not all, of the active shooter situations, someone was told or hints were given. There are always warning signs. A competent and aware officer on campus will have a better chance to stop the threat before it becomes a hostile situation.
I say it all the time but it can’t be stressed enough. We owe it to our children to have a fear free learning environment. Be proactive. #ExpelFear
Until next time,