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School Shooting, How To Protect Yourself And Others
In 2021 alone, there were at least 149 shooting incidents on school grounds that resulted in injuries and deaths in the whole United States. This year, Illinois had the most number of shooting incidents inside schools and universities followed by Texas, Pennsylvania and South Carolina.
A total of 32 deaths have been recorded this year. In fact, the number of school shootings is increasing every year, from the 51 incidents in 2013 to this year to 96 incidents in 2020.
These numbers are quite alarming and make parents and society question how safe our students are inside their campuses. The psychological effects of such incidents are also long-lasting for most survivors and can be quite detrimental to their peace of mind in the future.
Top Things To Remember During A Shooting Incident
Luckily, there are ways to protect yourself from harm should you ever find yourself in a shooting situation inside the campus or elsewhere. Here are some of the tips you should remember if faced with this frightening situation.
Alert People As Soon As Possible
The quicker you respond to flee away from danger during a shooting situation inside the campus, the better. Inform a teacher or administrator about the situation. It is also important to make your teacher understand that you are serious about the threat and this is not a bad joke.
If your school has already made an announcement about the shooter, follow your teacher’s instructions to evacuate or to lockdown. Avoid pulling the emergency fire alarm during these situations. This will only cause people to run outside the hallways making them easy targets for the shooter.
Shootings can happen anytime, anywhere, when you least expect it. Always be mindful of your environment. Listen and observe your surroundings. Be aware of the exit points in different buildings inside the campus, safe places and where to find help in times of emergencies. The more you are aware of your surroundings, the more you’ll be able to put yourself further away from harm.
In the event of a shooting, do not be a hero. Run as far and as fast as you can away from the shooter. You may feel responsible for protecting others but you cannot help others when you make yourself a target.
Run away from the scene to seek help. If the shooter is within view and hiding in a safe and secure place is not possible, run and do a zigzag pattern to reduce the chances of getting hit. But if possible, hide in a safe place until help comes.
Remember, the further you are from the shooter, the safer you’ll be. Aim to get outside the campus during a shooting. If getting outside campus is risky, look for another way to exit the scene.
You can use emergency doors, windows and even the vent areas to escape. If stuck inside a room, duck and move out of the line of sight and fire. Find cover and shield yourself behind a solid wall, cabinets, furniture or tables. Stay as low as possible. Even while hidden, be aware of your surroundings. You might have to leave and find a different hiding place depending on the current location of the shooter.
Hide And Stay Quiet
As soon as you find a secure hiding place, stay hidden and quiet as possible. From here, you can observe your surroundings and come out with an emergency plan in case the shooter finds you. Look for items that you can use as a weapon or a shield against the shooter. Barricade windows and doors with furniture to prevent the shooter from coming in. Avoid large open areas such as the gym or the fields. Remember to stay away from windows too.
Fight As A Last Resort
Again, do not attempt to be a hero. But if ever you are confronted by the shooter, you may have no choice left but to defend yourself.
Use any object as a potential weapon to knock out the gun from the shooter. You may also try to subdue him by rendering him unconscious. However, never ever attempt to do this unless it is the only option left for you. Again. focus to create distance away from the shooter.
Understand that there is never a foolproof way to avoid or to stay safe during shooting incidences inside and outside the campus. Following these tips may not always guarantee your safety. However, paying attention to the practices that can help you put yourself at less risk can really help you survive during these frightening situations.
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