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Gunman targets California school; are you prepared?

Shooters are attacking schools, churches, shopping malls, office parties. Such “easy targets” must develop emergency plans.

Photo by Dmitry Ratushny

By Ken Wackes December 2017

What is your school’s emergency action plan? Is everyone on your staff aware of the plan? Are they ready to take action? Do you practice unannounced lockdown drills? Do you invite the local police to tour your campus annually to access where the campus is vulnerable?

The news article “California gunman fired 30 rounds at elementary school, left when he couldn’t get inside” at ABC News contains several important facts about the importance of school readiness.

  • The gunman directly targeted the school
  • The school had a fence
  • The fence was locked
  • The gunman crashed his car through the fence
  • The school has a lockdown process
  • The process was immediately put into action
  • The gunman was unable to access any classrooms but fired through exterior windows
  • His inability to gain access into the building caused him to leave the school premises
  • The school has one or several security video cameras.

This comes on the heels of the recent horrific mass murder of children and adults in Texas as they sat at worship.

Armed reaction teams?

Are you ready to provide armed resistance by designated and trained teachers and support staff? Why or why not? Other than fiscal issues, what other considerations would prevent you from providing an armed resistance team? If open to the idea, how would you sell the idea to your Board? Your staff? What would be the position of your insurers?

Recently, retired FBI and ATF agents have stated that increasingly shooters are attacking easy targets—schools, churches, shopping malls, office parties. They all advocate that the “easy targets” have to develop emergency plans, including an armed reaction team. Many churches now hire off-duty police to patrol the church campus when church services are in process. Most public schools have a resource officer (uniformed police) on campus.

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