Here we are again: another tragic school shooting.
It’s awful and senseless and exhausting, and yet we’re all ready to go through another cycle of inaction by politicians who should see that protecting children is one of the most important foundational aspects of our society.
Instead, they get nothing done. As a parent, teacher, and former high school coach I am worn out. I am tired of the debates and tired of the talking. It’s all noise at this point when I know that action is possible.
So while media reports and talking heads focus on gun control or mental health, what can we really do?
My answer speaks to my background: we have to train teachers, students, and parents to be ready because there’s no guarantee that anyone else will be there to protect our schools.
It’s time for administrators to stop looking upward at what might be implemented by federal and state government and instead look inward at what they can do today.
Here are my recommendations:
Make better use of live training
Schools already conduct live active shooter training exercises and they’re critical to providing a knowledge baseline for teachers, administrators, and students. The problem is that they just aren’t frequent enough – often far less than the number of fire drills a school conducts.
We also have to go beyond an active shooter exercise. Schools should hold town halls or fireside chats to educate students and parents in a less intense setting.
Put technology to work
Young people are glued to their phones, so why not put everything needed to properly react and respond in an active shooter situation onto an app? This is where the 1HUDDLE platform comes in.
We recommend offering a technology-based training course that encourages students to regularly engage and better prepares them for how to respond in a real life situation.
Certify school leadership to drive accountability
During an emergency, people look to leaders to provide direction. Let’s develop a better certification program for educators so that not just a handful at each school is highly skilled and prepared to deal with an active shooter situation.
Let’s encourage mentorship and cross-coaching so campus leaders can share best practices and develop other members on campus. By singling out and identifying the right people to respond to a crisis situation, we drive accountability across our schools.
We’re having these discussions with several school systems around the United States right now. This isn’t a play for business. We’re donating our platform and services to make sure schools are better equipped to deal with an active shooter situation.
And while we train organizations all over the world, there is nothing more important to our mission than making sure training is deployed in critical situations – especially those that involve our children.
These kids are our future and we need to treat them as such. At this point, it’s the only thing we know will make a difference in the absence of any real leadership from our elected representatives.