By Emilie Davis
Knowing how to protect oneself is a skill that has always been of value, but it has become more vital now than ever before. With the increased number of school shootings across the United States, we fear them now more than we could have ever imagined, but this fear does not protect us: knowledge of necessary protocol does. On Friday, August 17th, there was a lockdown at Santa Rosa High School. It was a false alarm, as a teacher punched in the wrong code on one of the phones, but it was a shock to all on campus. Most of the teachers followed normal lockdown protocol, but others treated it as if nothing was going on, not fully understanding how to deal with the situation. This brings up the concern that in the event of an active shooter on campus, neither teachers nor students will know how to defend themselves.
Many students expressed concern that they weren’t properly prepared for this kind of situation, and felt like they didn’t have any way to defend themselves. “We were all so scared, especially since we didn’t know if it was a drill or not,” said junior Sophia Bailey, “I felt so helpless, like if a shooter did come in, there was nothing to do except accept what was coming. It was a terrible feeling.” Students and teachers assumed it was a drill at first, but when there was no notification of it being a drill, they were very worried. “We were all confused and scared when we realized it wasn’t a drill,” said junior Emma Jay. “Seeing my teacher be just as confused as we were was shocking and made my stomach fall.”
What has been realized from the aftermath of this false alarm is that our teachers need more training on how to handle these kind of situations. The teachers at Santa Rosa High School have not had the proper training that is vital to protect students in the case of an active shooter
“There needs to be more training. The training at Santa Rosa High School and throughout our district has been extremely negligent, criminally so. They’re not effectively dealing with it, they’re more concerned with liability than students safety and I think that’s criminal,” said history teacher Andrew Brennan.
Students need to be told the reality of the situation. If a shooter does come into a classroom that you are in, you need to try and defend yourself. The technique that the school has in place for the threat of a shooter is called “Run, Hide, Fight”. If you can’t run, hide in the classroom, and if the shooter finds where you have hidden, you must fight. The more you can disorient the shooter, the better. “Students need to know in a circumstance like that, anything that you can grab, a water bottle, your phone, a book, anything,” said Brennan. “As soon as they come in you throw it at them and you scream. That’s going to disorient them and gives someone the opportunity to tackle them.”
At this point, there needs to be student and parental interference. Students and parents of Santa Rosa City Schools need to make a stand and tell the district that they are not doing enough to protect students. The Santa Rosa Police Department is more than willing to start training teachers on how to handle this kind of nightmare situation. The district is more concerned with liability than they are with children’s lives, which is extremely disturbing. Students and parents can call, send an email, or write a letter, to the district fighting for better training for teachers. Students’ lives are at stake and our teachers need and want to be trained on how they can effectively protect their kids.