MARSHmedia Blog

Is your school prepared for the unexpected?

It’s not an easy topic to address, and though deaths by an active shooter in a school setting are extremely rare (less than 1%), being prepared saves lives. Two of the worst school shootings in U.S. history occurred in the month of April – Columbine and Virginia Tech – making it a timely subject to discuss here and now.

Marsh Media teamed with school security personnel and officials from law enforcement to bring the How Will You React? A Staff’s Guide: Being Prepared for a School Shooting program to your school.

It is not our intent to scare you. Our objective is to educate you about your response options and to get you thinking about your existing emergency plan. How can you supplement it? Do you, as an administrator, faculty member or parent know how to assess an unfortunate situation such as this? What survival processes need to kick in and when?

Your worst enemy might just be denial itself. Unfortunately, an active shooting event at school has no prediction indicators or statistics to point to the likelihood of it happening at one school over another. It’s not a big city thing, an East Coast phenomenon or specifically a high school problem. Preparation is the difference between fatalities and survival.

The goal of this new video program is to provide school personnel an invaluable tool that will encourage school staff to think about what they would do before, during and after an event such as this. The active shooter training techniques included in How Will You React? A Staff’s Guide: Being Prepared for a School Shooting are similar to those taught and utilized by Homeland Security and Terrorist Early Warning Groups.

Critical takeaways include:

  • Easy daily strategies everyone can use to stay prepared
  • Lockdown procedures
  • Know the areas to avoid
  • Manage fear and anxiety
  • Learn when to RUN, HIDE or FIGHT

While it is highly unlikely your school will ever be subjected to an active shooter, this realistic 15-minute visual aid will leave you mentally prepared and more confident to handle this and other potential threats.

“Please keep in mind this program is not designed to stand alone, but is meant as a supplement to your school’s emergency response plan,” said Dan Witcher, owner of Marsh Media and a former Kansas City, Missouri police officer. “Additional and ongoing training is recommended and your local police department is a great resource for active shooter preparedness planning as it relates to your specific situation.”