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Shooter awareness tips offered

Published: Thursday, January 31, 2013

Updated: Thursday, January 31, 2013 19:01

Arkansas State University is home to 14,000 students who come from all over the country and the world.  While students focus on their studies throughout the semester, they should also be aware of their own safety as well.  
Last year there were 10 reported school shootings across the country, and this year there have already been seven.

Though no campus expects a shooting to ever occur, the possibility of one happening is possible.  It is very important for students and faculty to have an idea of what they would do if the situation were to ever occur.

During every student’s First Year Experience class at ASU, it is mandatory that each student attend a briefing by the University Police Department on being prepared for a shooter situation.  This seminar is held to present lifesaving information that each and every student needs to know. Along with this briefing, the UPD have listed a checklist and a video on what to do if a shooter is present.

The active shooter checklist consists specific areas for a student to focus on if a shooting occurs, such as securing immediate area and contacting authorities.

These areas have an explanation and a break down of how to carry out these instructions on the websites link.

If it is known that a shooter has entered the building you should work together, “lock the door, spread out, turn out the lights, grab a book or computer that can be used as protection, and stay quiet” said Lt. Jared Long of the UPD.

Though it is unlikely ASU will experience a shooter drill on campus, the UPD train for these types of situations.  The student’s role, if this situation occurs, is to secure the immediate area (such as the classroom) and contact authorities as soon as they can.

On March 24, 1988, Craighead County experienced a school shooting at Westside Middle School.  Andrew Golden and Mitchell Johnson, then 13 and 11, pulled the fire alarm to lure their classmates outside where they then fired upon the students outside of the school.  They killed one teacher, four students and wounded 10 others.  They were both sentenced to confinement until the age of 21, which is the maximum sentence available under Arkansas law for Juvenile offenders.

Preparation for a shooter scenario occurred at the Valley View School district as faculty and staff participated in a shooter drill on Martin Luther King Jr. Day.  They had someone act as a shooter and break in unannounced into one of the many school buildings.  The faculty and staff at Valley View were briefed beforehand with specific instructions on what to do when the disaster scenario took place.

Terry Terrell, a sixth-grade math and science teacher at Valley View said, “this drill was designed to be very realistic with actors, guns and procedures or guidelines to follow in the given situation.  When the SWAT team came to rescue me from my closet, I could not help but scream because I was so nervous when they opened the door.”

Arkansas State University police take this seriously and urge students to learn how to protect themselves just in case they need to one day.

The tools are available for students to be aware on how to protect themselves and know what to do in case an emergency ever arises.

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