Your first step to school safety is to complete a thorough threat assessment, involving your local first responders and public safety partners – police, fire department, and emergency medical services. Your threat assessment will evaluate your school’s vulnerabilities so you can make changes to your property, your security systems, and your protocols to keep your staff and students safe in the event of an active shooter incident.
Technology, Planning, and Frequent Review
Start by ensuring that your grounds are as secure as possible and that your security cameras cover every entrance point and hallway. This will be critical information during a shooter attack, especially if you have ZeroEyes AI integrated with your cameras to immediately identify a visible gun and then track the gun through your campus. With ZeroEyes installed, this information will then be automatically transmitted to first responders and administrators so they will know exactly where the shooter is. Knowing the shooter’s location will enable them to take quick action to eliminate the threat.
Administrators, teachers, and your crisis team members should meet 2-3 times per year to review how well safety protocols are being followed and strengthen or adjust them as needed. Ideally, a representative from your local response team should also be present to give you professional guidance and receive updated information from you about your protocols. Local police should have a floor plan of your school, with doors numbered so that it will be easy to communicate locations in an emergency situation.
Regular drills should be implemented; however, it is important to be very sensitive to the emotional fallout of drills. Studies are showing that very realistic drills can leave students and even teachers traumatized for months.
What Administrators and Teachers Should Do During a Lockdown
Unfortunately, a shooter’s presence on school property is often unknown until shots are fired. This is why a gun detection system such as ZeroEyes is so valuable. Being alerted to the presence of a shooter before shots are fired can provide teachers, students, and first responders valuable time that can save lives.
As soon as a shooter’s presence is known, administrators should implement the planned protocols, which should include announcements or alerts so teachers can immediately put emergency plans into action. Administrators should be able to lock down wings of the building remotely to keep the shooter from moving into other areas. If you do not have ZeroEyes to automatically contact law enforcement, emergency calls need to be made right away.
Teachers should be well-versed in the emergency plans and should evaluate the best option – Run, Hide, or Fight – depending on how close the shooter is. If they choose to run, they should lead their students as quickly as possible to the predetermined exit, but must be aware of students who may have special needs and will require help. If they choose to hide, they should direct the students to appropriate hiding places and instruct them to be completely silent, still, and turn off their phones. Barricade the door and turn out lights if possible. Fighting is a last resort, but if necessary, it should be as aggressive as possible. The shooter’s surprise at being resisted may give others the chance needed to overpower him or escape.
What Students Should Do During a Lockdown
Students should be thoroughly drilled on the importance of following the teachers’ lead during an emergency situation. The necessity of staying absolutely quiet and still and turning off phones when hiding must be emphasized. Though we don’t normally want to encourage violence, the Run, Hide, or Fight options need to be clearly outlined and practiced, in a manner that protects the participants’ emotional health while giving them valuable training.
Decisions need to be made based on the school’s layout regarding what students should do if they are in the bathroom when a lockdown occurs. Generally, it is suggested they turn off the bathroom light, hide, and stay absolutely quiet.
Seconds count in a shooting scenario. Your teachers and students need the shooter to be stopped as soon as possible, especially if they are hiding. The constantly-evolving nature of active shooter situations requires immediate, real-time information to end a conflict quickly, and ZeroEyes, a self-learning artificial intelligence gun detection system that continuously refines and improves itself based on new data, is a critical component of your safety plan.
Contact us here at ZeroEyes to determine how we can enhance your existing security system to speed up the identification of a shooter, dramatically improve response time and situational awareness for first responders, and keep your people safe. Demonstrations are available.