Do Active Shooter Drills in US Schools Work?

Do Active Shooter Drills in US Schools Work?

a crowded classroom

Shooter drills are common in most US high schools. It’s one of the risk management methods to deal with or prevent school shootings as much as possible. However, these drills may have some side effects. Here’s what you need to know.

The Need for Shooter Drills in Schools

The US has a long history of school shootings. From it’s first-ever shooting at a school in Kentucky in 1853 to the November 30th shooting at Oxford High School in Michigan, it’s safe to say that the country has become a hub for high school shootings.

Active shooter drills serve the purpose of ensuring safety and preparing students to deal with such shootings at any moment. These drills occur to reenact a shooting, creating an environment of an actual shooting to assist students as much as possible.

Are They Working?

While the primary purpose behind active shooter drills in US schools is to ensure students’ safety and to empower them to take charge during an actual shooting, they’re not necessarily providing the desired outcome. In fact, studies indicate that these shooter drills often traumatize students for a significant amount of time, preventing them from attending school and performing well academically.

This is leading to increased absences among students. Furthermore, these drills often trigger students that lead to further psychological disorders.

What More Can One Do?

It’s crucial for school administrations to be sensitive toward students being affected by these shooter drills. A good way to get started is by offering free counseling services for students struggling to process past shootings.

Furthermore, they should also be regularly educated about the need to stay active and show bravery during this time instead of being triggered during impromptu drills.

a student sitting at her desk

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