The deadliest school shooting in history was the Virginia Tech massacre that killed 32 victims in 2007. America leads the world in most school shootings and for this reason we need to become more aware of how to deal with these tragedies and train for them.
Some schools are required to do a “lockdown drill” once or twice a year. During this drill, everyone in the school has to lock all doors and windows tight. They must remain still until a “clear signal” has been announced.
Research shows there is no clear answer to why these shooting happen, but some possible factors are violent role models, drugs, and access to guns. The shooters build a high level of anger they don’t want or don’t know how to control so they decided to grab a gun to let their anger out. Most shooters are frequently disrespected, bullied, socially rejected, victims of violence, have uncontrolled anger issues, or feel isolated from the rest of the students. For these reasons they spur into chaos for a desire to gain some form of social identity, respect, or value.
It is important to take early warning signs and threats seriously as a sign of depression and a time for possible intervention. To help prevent these massacres, any form of threat needs to be reported by students and make sure they know they are safe from any form of retribution. There needs to be preplanned responses so everyone knows how to react and avoid panic in this situation. It is very important students and staff have a well-established relationship with law enforcement and can communicate effectively.
In an interview, CSUMB police sergeant Erick Rueppel spoke about training and procedures
which take place in the event of an emergency. Active shooter training for our campus police is coming up this summer. They get cordial training with handguns and rifles. The drills include someone posed as a perpetrator armed with non-lethal weapons. The officers do force on force and move and shoot drills under a stressful environment to gain the tactical mindset of a real life scenario. They learn information on how to walk, take cover, and respond to an active threat. Officers from the Monterey peninsula all come together and are trained the same way. Our police department on campus has an Emergency Operation Center room (EOC) which would be the brain of operation for any emergency situation on campus.
It includes an aerial map of the school which is laminated to write on so staff can look and see what
is going on. Every staff member has a certain role in conjunction with one another in communication, logistics, medical, etc. Everyone’s role is extremely important. The EOC room also has a big white board with every room and building number on campus. Staff can write the date, time, status, and special notes of any operation so everyone is informed and updated. A computer system is set up for the EOC director where he can monitor all cameras on campus. Every police officer now has the aerial map installed in their cars to stay informed and updated out in the field. Fortunately, there has never been a shooting here on campus.
For student’s safety the campus also has Otter Alert to communicate with students instantly. If students are locked in a room, communication can be transferred with Otter Alert text messaging without someone physically going in. There are also speakers in east campus which can deliver live or recorded message to the community there. If you believe you are in a situation of immediate danger on campus, call 911.
For nonemergencies call (831) 655-0268. If you see any suspicious activity, keep your doors and windows locked, shades closed, exterior lights on, and report the situation. If you are in a car, keep doors locked at all times and have your keys in your hand before you reach your car. Think twice about giving strangers (hitchhikers) rides or accepting rides from strangers. When walking at night, stay in well-lit areas and if you are unsure about an area or concerned about your safety call security service (831) 582-3573 or ask a friend to walk with you. For the anonymous tip line call (831) 582-4747.