Agency recommends for Kentucky students 'run, hide, lock down' during mass shootings
The Kentucky Center for School Safety suggests in the possible scenario of a school shooting, students should run, hide and lock down.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- The Kentucky Center for School Safety suggests that in the possible scenario of a school shooting, students should run, hide and lock down.
The Department of Homeland Security has an educational video that suggests run, hide, then fight. However, Jon Akers, Executive Director of KCSS, said the state organization does not recommend school districts teach students to fight.
“We don’t want to teach children to fight with a perpetrator," he said. "It’s as simple as that."
Akers is traveling all over the commonwealth to train principals and help them refresh their school’s emergency plans.
“A lot of school shootings take place before school, during lunch time and right after school during dismissal, because you have large numbers of students moving from Point A to Point B,” Akers said.
He suggested that whenever the shooting might happen, first and foremost students, should run away from the shooter and try to find an exit. If students cannot get out, then they should hide in a closet, bathroom or classroom.
“Just get away from the attacker and do anything you can to put something physical between you and the attacker,” he said.
Once students are hidden, Akers said they need to stay put.
“We ask the kids to consider going into the classroom and locking it down,” he said.
This is the difference between the KCSS recommendation and the “run, hide, fight” scenario. Akers said KCSS only recommends teachers should ever try to fight an attacker and only if they are willing to be trained to do so.
“The large preponderant of educators are against teaching students how to fight, because that might put them in harms way, and they are not trained in tactical fighting like police officers are," Akers said.
School districts in Kentucky may vary slightly in their emergency plans and policies. Most do not want to reveal those plans for safety reasons, however KCSS recommends all school districts work with their local police agencies to help form those plans.
The Elizabethtown Police Department works with local schools to encourage the “run, hide, fight” scenario.
“The reality is, whether we want to acknowledge it or not, the threat of mass shooters is very much a part of day to day life in the United States today,” Elizabethtown Police Officer John Thomas said.
Thomas said “run, hide, fight” is a progression, and fighting should only be someone’s last resort.
“But if you’re going to fight, you have to absolutely commit to fighting," Thomas said. "Make a determination to use whatever is at your disposal: office furniture, school supplies, anything that you can fashion into a weapon.”
Thomas said what is very important is for parents to come up with a plan now and talk about it with their children, because time is of the essence.
“According to some data from the Department of Homeland Security, the average mass shooting takes place between 12 and 13 minutes. Very rapid," Thomas said. "So it’s important to have a plan in place before the panic of a mass shooting.”
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