After a school shooting in Kentucky yesterday, Americans are taking a moment to examine what could have been done to prevent or minimize any future bloodshed.
The shooting, which occurred Tuesday afternoon when a classmate entered the building and began firing, shocked the entire nation. While we have already endured a number of firearms-related incidents in our nation’s school system, Kentucky’s violence was brutal, fierce, and concise in a way that few other tragedies have been so far this year.
There was also another peculiar difference regarding yesterday’s tragedy that we haven’t experienced in previous instances of gun violence at school: A well prepared population of students who had trained for this very scenario.
“Students at Marshall County High School, where multiple students were shot Tuesday by a classmate, had recently been trained in how to react in case they were faced with an active shooter, Kentucky State Police Commissioner Rick Sanders said.
“’Students at that school did exactly as they were trained,’ Sanders said. ‘The Kentucky State Police has been in this area recently teaching students and faculty how to respond to an active shooter situation. Everybody in that high school reacted appropriately.’
“There was a school law enforcement or resource officer at Marshall County when the shooting occurred, officials said.
“The executive director of the Kentucky Center for School Safety said that school officials in Marshall County, have always made school safety a priority.
“’They have been very active in accessing the services of the Kentucky Center for School Safety for any kind of additional assistance and evaluations of their programs,’ said center executive director Jon Akers. The center, based at Eastern Kentucky University at Richmond, focuses on training, resources, information and research.”
While many of us will remember fire drills or “duck and cover” exercises, the idea of training for an active shooter situation still seems somehow foreign, and a little bit defeatist.
In reality, however, as our society continues to twist and turn through this nation of ours, drills such as this save lives. Just as the parents of the Bluegrass State.