What parents should do if there is an active shooter at their kid’s school
COLUMBIA, S.C. (WOLO): Schools across the nation participate in active shooter training after Sandy Hook, Parkland, and more recently, the Santa Fe High School shooting.
Teachers and students know what to do in a lockdown situation, but there is one group of people who haven’t gone through training– parents. The Newberry County Sheriff’s department said the way families respond can actually have a big impact on the response law enforcement is able to provide.
A fear became reality for parents of Newberry High School when the school was locked down after a student was found with a pistol and magazines of ammunition.
“The not knowing is what makes everything worse,” Ann Joiner said, a parent of a sophomore at Newberry High.
Parents flocked to the school searching for answers and praying that their child is safe. Sheriff Foster says parents should go against their parental instinct when they hear about a potential active shooter situation.
“Do not rush to the school. For your own safety,” Foster urged. Sheriff Foster says they do not want to put the parents in harm’s way if there is an active shooter. Foster also said families rushing to the scene can actually hamper the first responders. Foster pointed to Columbine as an example.
“So many parents rushed toward the school that it prevented emergency vehicles and rescue operation from getting to the school,” Foster said.
No shots were fired at Newberry High School and no one was injured, but if there was an active shooter on campus, Foster says they would’ve handled parents a little differently than they did.
“If we had had an actual incident we would’ve gone to an alternate location with the parents and families, away from the school, so we could keep them briefed on what was going on,” Foster said.
Foster said they got the call for help at 10:51 and twenty minutes later they were able to give parents an update through the Emergency Broadcast radio network. Foster said they are going to work on making that response even faster for parents.
Sheriff Foster said if families get the dreaded news there is an active shooter at their child’s’ school, they should first turn on to the emergency broadcast network, make sure they are subscribed to law enforcement updates, and check law enforcements social media.