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Thread: How should kids react in a school shooting?

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    Arena Senior Member Crazed Rabbit's Avatar
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    Default How should kids react in a school shooting?

    I ask because apparently this school district's possible new plan (In Massachusetts of all places) is to have kids react and try and take out a school shooter.

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    Controversy Erupts Over School Proposal to Teach Kids to Fight Back Against Gunmen

    A proposal to teach children as young as 10 years old to fight back against a classroom gunman is causing quite a stir in a small town in Massachusetts.

    The Georgetown Public Schools in Georgetown, Mass., are considering a proposal to teach kids to fend off a gunman with backpacks or textbooks as part of a proposal to revamp their "Code Blue" safety policy.

    Those who support the idea say it may seem extreme, but it could save a child's life.

    Georgetown Police Chief James E. Mulligan told FOXNews.com the proposed technique was intended to be a "last ditch" thing to be used in cases where a gunman has been able to thwart police and get inside a classroom alone with students.

    But others think the last thing you want to teach young kids is how to fight off an intruder with a gun.

    "To put that expectation on young, emotional, scared, frightened children is really a slippery slope," says Kenneth Trump, the president of National School Safety and Security Services. "It has a high risk and higher probability of escalating a situation than it would to neutralize the situation."

    The controversy began when the district's school resource officer, Derek Jones, proposed the training in a memo after hearing it had been used in schools in Florida.

    "[He] was starting the conversation with us to say, well, ‘Do we want the kids to sit there and literally have the gunman be able to shoot them one at a time? Or do we want to allow instincts to kick in and basically allow them to protect themselves against the threat?'" Carol Jacobs, the district superintendent, told FOXNews.com.

    "It might include using a book or hiding behind a backpack or something, some kind of shield."

    Jacobs said the proposal to teach kids in fifth grade and up how to ward off armed attackers in a worst-case scenario created some concern among administrators.

    "We had immediate discomfort with all of this because it’s not the way we’ve thought about it in the past, and also, we worry a little bit more about the liability of all of this," she said.

    Jones' memo was intended only for school officials updating the school safety policy in Georgetown, a coastal community north of Boston, but it was leaked to the media before the district's safety committee could even discuss it, leading to concern among parents.

    "A lot of kids come from unsafe places at home, and school is their only haven, you know, and for them to come into school and have to think about that stuff I think can be scary," parent Hope Carter told MyFOXBoston.com.

    Barbie Linares, who has three children in the district, including a 10-year-old, said she has confidence in how the school administration deals with proposals.

    "If it was going to be implemented, I would hope that it would be implemented in, say, fifth grade and above, or middle school and above," she told FOXNews.com. "I do think that it would be better off with the older kids."

    Trump said it makes more sense to train school staff to deal with a gunman.

    "We’re asking them to make some quite serious judgments that even trained adults are challenged to make," he said. "I think that’s an unrealistic and highly risky expectation and burden to put on kids."

    Current policy, Mulligan said, is on par with districts across the country, allowing police to enter a school in lockdown and engage an attacker "to minimize the harm to children and staff in the school."

    Officials say the Georgetown community is safe. The only recent activity was an unfounded bomb threat six months ago that lead to a school evacuation.

    The safety committee plans to discuss the Code Blue proposals on Thursday.

    "The intention here is just to make sure that we are always on the cutting edge of what we need to do to keep our kids safe and obviously to learn from lessons of tragedies in other places," Jacobs said.


    It seems to me this is the sort of thing we hate to have to teach kids, but that could be better than not having them do anything in the event of a school shooting.

    This quote:
    "To put that expectation on young, emotional, scared, frightened children is really a slippery slope," says Kenneth Trump, the president of National School Safety and Security Services. "It has a high risk and higher probability of escalating a situation than it would to neutralize the situation."
    Seemed illogical to me. How would it escalate a situation? When you've got a person actively shooting at children, how would they escalate their actions? Would they, perhaps, scream profanities as well?

    It seems to me, in a school shooting, you're already in the worst case scenario and you want to do what you can to mitigate the results. I suppose you could say the kids being targeted are escalating their actions - but in that case escalation from sitting and being shot to trying to stop the shooter would be a good thing.

    CR
    Last edited by Crazed Rabbit; 12-12-2008 at 21:04.
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    Enlightened Despot Member Vladimir's Avatar
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    Default Re: How should kids react in a school shooting?

    Bad idea. The minute a child dies confronting the gunman the school system will end up in court. It's different if the parents tell them this or they react on their own.

    Basic rule in a school shooting: Get the out!


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    Darkside Medic Senior Member rory_20_uk's Avatar
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    Default Re: How should kids react in a school shooting?

    The only sensible and above all American solution is to give all the kids guns. Only if everyone is armed is anyone safe...

    Some sort of system where doors can be automatically locked would be an idea - teachers can access a panic switch and all doors go into lockdown. The cheap option would be for standard doors that will merely slow a determined person down, the more expensive option would make all doors bullet resistant. Worst case scenario one class is decimated, then the gunman is trapped.


    Getting soldiers to act in an environment where shots are fired is difficult enough. Getting unarmed children to act in a rational manner and not blindly panic is optimistic IMO.

    Of course if the training does work, woe betide the police in the next riot when the tooled up, self defence experts take them on...

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    Arena Senior Member Crazed Rabbit's Avatar
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    Default Re: How should kids react in a school shooting?

    Quote Originally Posted by Vladimir View Post
    Bad idea. The minute a child dies confronting the gunman the school system will end up in court. It's different if the parents tell them this or they react on their own.

    Basic rule in a school shooting: Get the out!
    Running as fast in the other direction as possible is a good idea; but most schools tend to keep kids in the classroom in such events.

    Some sort of system where doors can be automatically locked would be an idea - teachers can access a panic switch and all doors go into lockdown. The cheap option would be for standard doors that will merely slow a determined person down, the more expensive option would make all doors bullet resistant. Worst case scenario one class is decimated, then the gunman is trapped.
    I think the phrase you want is 'prohibitively expensive'.

    Getting unarmed children to act in a rational manner and not blindly panic is optimistic IMO.
    Yes, but better than nothing when the kids are trapped in a classroom with a shooter. If it doesn't work, then the kids are no worse off, but if they can stop the shooter that would be good.

    CR
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    Chieftain of the Pudding Race Member Evil_Maniac From Mars's Avatar
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    Default Re: How should kids react in a school shooting?

    It is a sensible idea as a last-ditch option. I mean, if I saw my classmates being shot, and I knew I was going to be killed soon, I would run away from the killer. If I couldn't run, I wouldn't have much of a choice but to fight, now would I?

    Honestly, if you're locked in a room with a killer who is shooting your friends one by one, how could you not try to disarm him?

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    Spirit King Senior Member seireikhaan's Avatar
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    Default Re: How should kids react in a school shooting?

    Admit it, CR- you're moving to Mass now.

    Anyways, regarding the decision- I think its personally better than nothing, assuming that they're not teaching the kids to do something really moronic like trying to give the shooter a tongue lashing or something.
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    Arena Senior Member Crazed Rabbit's Avatar
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    Default Re: How should kids react in a school shooting?

    Quote Originally Posted by seireikhaan View Post
    Anyways, regarding the decision- I think its personally better than nothing, assuming that they're not teaching the kids to do something really moronic like trying to give the shooter a tongue lashing or something.
    It's Massachusetts, not the UK. *I'll get my coat...*

    Admit it, CR- you're moving to Mass now.
    Nah, I'm much to content here.

    CR
    Ja Mata, Tosa.

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    Ranting madman of the .org Senior Member Fly Shoot Champion, Helicopter Champion, Pedestrian Killer Champion, Sharpshooter Champion, NFS Underground Champion Rhyfelwyr's Avatar
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    Default Re: How should kids react in a school shooting?

    The kids would have to have some serious mental discipline if they were to pull if off. It's tragic, but there's really very little that can be done when you're in those kinds of situations.
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    has a Senior Member HoreTore's Avatar
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    Default Re: How should kids react in a school shooting?

    The best self defense ever: not being in the situation in the first place.

    Second best: Run away. Fast.

    See? I still remember the combat training I learned in the army....
    Last edited by HoreTore; 12-13-2008 at 02:11.
    Still maintain that crying on the pitch should warrant a 3 match ban

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    Ranting madman of the .org Senior Member Fly Shoot Champion, Helicopter Champion, Pedestrian Killer Champion, Sharpshooter Champion, NFS Underground Champion Rhyfelwyr's Avatar
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    Default Re: How should kids react in a school shooting?

    So kids should play truant to aviod school shootings?
    At the end of the day politics is just trash compared to the Gospel.

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    master of the pwniverse Member Fragony's Avatar
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    Default Re: How should kids react in a school shooting?

    These guys have made up their mind, run. Which should be pretty obvious. But why make a trend out of incidents, horrible as they may be, that is just inviting the next crybaby.

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    Iron Fist Senior Member Husar's Avatar
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    Default Re: How should kids react in a school shooting?

    Well, some 60 years ago soldiers were trained to run up an almost empty beach protected by fortified bunkers at the top to solve a problem, maybe they thought it is time to go back to the old way of solving violent problems.
    In the end it all depends on the situation, like a bunker is vulnerable from behind, a gunman is usually vulnerable when he enters through a door, but in most cases you are likely to end up dead if you cannot use the element of surprise to your advantage.
    In both cases the best solution is to prevent the problem in it's early stages, which so far hasn't happened often.


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    has a Senior Member HoreTore's Avatar
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    Default Re: How should kids react in a school shooting?

    Quote Originally Posted by Crazed Rabbit View Post
    Yes, but better than nothing when the kids are trapped in a classroom with a shooter. If it doesn't work, then the kids are no worse off, but if they can stop the shooter that would be good.
    No. When the kids get shot when they fail to stop the gunman(you're kidding yourself if you think anything else will happen), they're wasting their life as well as valuable time they could've used to run away and live.

    Seriously, doing anything else than run when there's a guy with a gun trying to kill you is the dumbest thing you can ever do. And it'll be the last dumb thing you do in your life. The natural instinct is to run. That's what they should do, and it's what gives the best chance of survival.
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    Arena Senior Member Crazed Rabbit's Avatar
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    Default Re: How should kids react in a school shooting?

    Quote Originally Posted by HoreTore View Post
    No. When the kids get shot when they fail to stop the gunman(you're kidding yourself if you think anything else will happen), they're wasting their life as well as valuable time they could've used to run away and live.

    Seriously, doing anything else than run when there's a guy with a gun trying to kill you is the dumbest thing you can ever do. And it'll be the last dumb thing you do in your life. The natural instinct is to run. That's what they should do, and it's what gives the best chance of survival.
    Maybe you missed the part where I said the kids are trapped in the same room as the gunman. Most school classrooms have one door; the kids cannot run anywhere if the gunman is in the doorway.

    Also, you'll be interested to know standard procedure in a school is not to have the kids run, but to lock the door and hide in a classroom if the kids are in class.

    Oh, and about kids not stopping a gunman;
    http://www.cnn.com/US/9805/21/school.shooting.2/

    A male student who had been expelled from an Oregon high school opened fire with a rifle in the school cafeteria on Thursday, killing at least one student, authorities said. They said they are also investigating reports of killings at the boy's home. About 25 other students were reported wounded or injured in the incident at Thurston High School in Springfield.

    The gunman, who was taken into custody, was not immediately identified. He had been expelled on Wednesday for trying to bring a gun to class, police said. Witnesses said the gunman was tackled by other students.
    Gee, it looks like not running saved lives. So much for being 'dumb'.

    CR
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    Chieftain of the Pudding Race Member Evil_Maniac From Mars's Avatar
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    Default Re: How should kids react in a school shooting?

    Quote Originally Posted by HoreTore View Post
    No. When the kids get shot when they fail to stop the gunman(you're kidding yourself if you think anything else will happen), they're wasting their life as well as valuable time they could've used to run away and live.

    Seriously, doing anything else than run when there's a guy with a gun trying to kill you is the dumbest thing you can ever do. And it'll be the last dumb thing you do in your life. The natural instinct is to run. That's what they should do, and it's what gives the best chance of survival.
    HoreTore, this is talking about when you are in a classroom, or backed into a corner with no chance of escape. Most classrooms have only one door as well as a few windows, all of which are generally locked and closed when an intruder enters the school. In this common scenario, the students will have no choice whatsoever.

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    TexMec Senior Member Louis VI the Fat's Avatar
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    Default Re : How should kids react in a school shooting?

    If I look back at Virginia Tech...what if five guys, or ten guys, had gone after the shooter? He can't stop them. He can take out a few, but he will be subdued. It would've saved lives.

    It is always frustrating that one guy with a gun can hold fifty, or five hundred people ransom. Quite unbearable. Disregarding al the if's and but's of Rambo fantasies and the danger of lynch mobs and permanently alarmed and scared kids in constant war mode, the point remains that a massive combined attack will take out anybody and will save lives in certain instances. (Flight 93? )
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    In a weird twist of argument, I am an avid watcher of wildlife films. It always strikes me how five lions can attack a herd of three-thousand zebra. That's an awful lot of beef and hooves. With some co-ordination, the lions would be nowhere. In fact, a few small, weak apes thought pretty much that one million years ago. They got themselves a few sticks and pebbles, learned how to co-ordinate counter attacks, and now every predator in Africa runs for cover when he sees humans.
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    Filthy Rich Member Odin's Avatar
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    Default Re: How should kids react in a school shooting?

    Quote Originally Posted by Crazed Rabbit View Post
    Also, you'll be interested to know standard procedure in a school is not to have the kids run, but to lock the door and hide in a classroom if the kids are in class.
    Yes your correct. I live in MA actually somewhere near the town in the story. You see in MA you get outside 128 and the outstretched stench of Havard/cambridge and you actually find moderates. Yes the children are kept in the classroom, they do not have the option to get up and run out as the teachers job in this situation is to prevent anyone from leaving the class.

    I know this because I was present when the procedures for "school emergencies" were discussed after the college incidents. Essentially what it comes down to is a numbers game.... The assumption is that the shooter will not go into every room and or dosent have enough rounds to kill every kid in every classroom.

    So if the classroom he picks has your kid in it, metaphorically you've won the lottery (by the logic of the procedures in place). So even as a parent if you want your kid to run, the teacher who's salary you pay will prevent it or in theory loose there job as violators of the district policy.

    Yes, but better than nothing when the kids are trapped in a classroom with a shooter. If it doesn't work, then the kids are no worse off, but if they can stop the shooter that would be good.
    Essentially this makes the above statement by rabbit correct. If your child is the lottery winner they can hid in the corner and again hope they dont win the lottery and are selected for execution or they can attempt to bring down the shooter. Somehow for me as a dad if I got that call I would take a sliver of solace knowing my kid tried to fight back rather then hiding in a corner hoping not to die, but people think Im nuts anyway.

    The best time to foil a plot is at it infancy when the perp hasnt had the time to prep the situation or take command. Waiting and hoping might save some lives but it dosent negate the potential for a succesful outcome via the alternate route proposed. Of course the first best choice is to run but that isnt an option in a lot of schools now, so if you win the lottery and the guy chooses your kids classroom and the outcome is death, death while fighting back, and fighting back and disarming I'll go with the last 2 options because the result is not predetermined and can result in a positive outcome.
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    Iron Fist Senior Member Husar's Avatar
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    Default Re: Re : How should kids react in a school shooting?

    Quote Originally Posted by Louis VI the Fat View Post
    If I look back at Virginia Tech...what if five guys, or ten guys, had gone after the shooter? He can't stop them. He can take out a few, but he will be subdued. It would've saved lives.
    Yes, you go first, I'll be right behind you.

    The problem is obviously not about guns or children, rules or even the shooters, the biggest problem is obviously that classrooms lack doors.


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    TexMec Senior Member Louis VI the Fat's Avatar
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    Default Re : Re: Re : How should kids react in a school shooting?

    Quote Originally Posted by Husar View Post
    Yes, you go first, I'll be right behind you.
    It goes without saying that I consider going first an honour and a sacred duty. My personal sense of sacrifice is so strong that in the interest of all I shall make the urge to go first subordinate to the need to coordinate you lot though.
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    master of the pwniverse Member Fragony's Avatar
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    Default Re: How should kids react in a school shooting?

    Argh. School-shootings, Shootings at schools. Isn't it a bit overreacting to call it a school shooting, as if it isn't something that hardly ever happens why make cult out of nothing.

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    Default Re: How should kids react in a school shooting?

    Oh, and about kids not stopping a gunman;
    Yes they got lucky and tackled him when his gun was empty and he was having trouble reloading it .



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    The Black Senior Member Papewaio's Avatar
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    Default Re: How should kids react in a school shooting?

    Fire escape?
    Single door, then windows.

    Better still multiple doors on opposite sides of the room allowing outside access.

    Simply put make it hard for fire or firearms to trap the kids.
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    has a Senior Member HoreTore's Avatar
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    Default Re: How should kids react in a school shooting?

    One exit from a classroom? What genius thought that was a good idea?

    Forget about shooters, what about fire? What idiots do you people have building your schools?
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    This comment is witty! Senior Member LittleGrizzly's Avatar
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    Default Re: How should kids react in a school shooting?

    TBH i think most of my comprehensive (12-16) classrooms only had the one door, the windows in most of them would have been very hard to get out of, do-able but it would take a minute for me and im fairly agile, any fat kid would have just got stuck.

    Im unsure about this... on the one hand surely it is better for someone to try and tackle the shooter if people are stuck in a classroom with him anyway, though i really don't see 10 year olds doing too much, a few older teenagers perhaps...... on the other hand you don't want to encourage teenage boys to have rambo fanatasies about taking down a shooter, trying to tackle the guy should be a last resort, i would tell my kid to get the hell out of there

    of course if it was me in the school i would be rambo, but all boys like to think like that, and that thinking shouldn't be encouraged in kids...
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    Iron Fist Senior Member Husar's Avatar
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    Default Re: How should kids react in a school shooting?

    Quote Originally Posted by HoreTore View Post
    Forget about shooters, what about fire? What idiots do you people have building your schools?
    Possibly Germans, the old buildings of my high school also had only one exit AFAIK, at least those above ground level, the new buildings offer seperate fire exits though. It's definitely not a bad idea.


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    Default Re: How should kids react in a school shooting?

    Quote Originally Posted by Vladimir View Post
    Bad idea. The minute a child dies confronting the gunman the school system will end up in court. It's different if the parents tell them this or they react on their own.

    Basic rule in a school shooting: Get the out!


    School down in Texas wanted to do it to I believe, read about it in Late '06.


    Good Idea Vladimir! Just get out. If you can't though, fight back! I rather die fighting then sit there under a damn table and die a embrassing down!


    "But Warman, More kids could die then!"


    Really? And sitting under a library table be safer? Yeah, That worked wonders for kids at Columbine!

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    Default Re: How should kids react in a school shooting?

    In my high school -- the height of late 60s early 70s design -- fewer than 1 classroom in 4 had any windows. All of those windows were less than 12" wide. None of those windows were designed to open -- ever. On the other hand, each of the classrooms were three-walled affairs with no fourth wall.

    My other schools were more traditionally designed. One door on the hallway side, two solid sidewalls, one wall lined with windows opposite the door. All of the windows had one panel (12" by 32") that would open (on a pivot, often at the mid-point of the pane so that no student could climb out). Window egress could really only have been effected by a) throwing things through the windows unitl they broke. Tearing the swivel panels off of their hinges. I don't recall having more than a handful of classrooms with more than one door.
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  28. #28
    Member Member Beren Son Of Barahi's Avatar
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    Default Re: How should kids react in a school shooting?

    AFAIK most of these events happen with students that have been suspended/expelled;it would make sense to control who can come in and out of a school; swipe cards/access control would be a much better way of stopping someone getting into the school then teaching kids to charge the trenchesgunmen.

    I think this sort of thinking is all cartage in front of the horse type of problem solving. stop the school shootings before they happen or restrict the movement within the school.

    i would of thought that it might be better to evacuate when possible instead of staying put.
    Last edited by Beren Son Of Barahi; 12-17-2008 at 01:54.
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    Praefectus Fabrum Senior Member Anime BlackJack Champion, Flash Poker Champion, Word Up Champion, Shape Game Champion, Snake Shooter Champion, Fishwater Challenge Champion, Rocket Racer MX Champion, Jukebox Hero Champion, Cub Shoot 2 Champion, My House Is Bigger Than Your House Champion, Funky Pong Champion, Cutie Quake Champion, Fling The Cow Champion, Treasure Diver Champion, Tiger Punch Champion, Virus Champion, Solitaire Champion, Worm Race Champion, Slack Man Champion, Japanese Baseball Champion, Rope Walker Champion, Penguin Pass Champion, Skate Park Champion, Super Mario Mushroom Champion, Watch Out Champion, Lawn Pac Champion, Weapons Of Mass Destruction Champion, Skate Boarder Champion, Fish Kill Champion, Lane Bowling Champion, Bugz Champion, Makai Grand Prix 2 Champion, KF 9000 Champion, White Van Man Champion, Parachute Panic Champion, BlackJack Champion, Stans Ski Jumping Champion, Smaugs Treasure Champion, Sofa Longjump Champion Seamus Fermanagh's Avatar
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    Default Re: How should kids react in a school shooting?

    Quote Originally Posted by Beren Son Of Barahi View Post
    i would of thought that it might be better to evacuate when possible instead of staying put.
    School officials assume that such an evacuation would not be orderly and would actually become a panicked stampede. This, many feel, would result in deaths from trampling and possible worse death totals if the stampede heads the wrong way.

    I actually think the current doctrine (modified) would work better...if the teacher behind the barricaded door was themselves armed. But, then again, I'm one of those power-crazed gun nut types [note, sarcasm].
    "The only way that has ever been discovered to have a lot of people cooperate together voluntarily is through the free market. And that's why it's so essential to preserving individual freedom.” -- Milton Friedman

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  30. #30
    This comment is witty! Senior Member LittleGrizzly's Avatar
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    Default Re: How should kids react in a school shooting?

    I think it would be better if there could be more organisation during an actual shooting event, classes too close to the shooter could simply lock the door and stay put, whilst other classes which are far enough away could make a safe exit quickly. This would rely on some knowledge of the shooters position and direction he's heading and some ability to communicate this information to all the teachers, maybe read out the shooters movements over the pa system, could annoy the shooter though...

    It would probably be a really good idea to have quick exits for all classrooms possible, fire exits on ground levels and stairs built to classes off ground level, its a bit of expense but probably worth it...
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