Now that I have your attention, my blog can begin. Last night I participated in a four hour ALICE training to prepare me for an active shooter situation at school. What I learned could be used in a mall, church or college campus. I admit I was not prepared for what I would experience.
My administrators did a fantastic job presenting the information that I am sure was difficult to do at times. They were patient and understanding of our emotions and how we processed the training.
I don’t like guns and participating in the drill was a sensitive subject for me. I had to let my fear of guns take a backseat so I could focus on the training. Even if they were nerf guns, all I thought of was guns!
I’m sure you are wondering why I don’t like guns. Ten years ago, I had to save someone I loved from committing suicide with a gun and from that day, guns are a thorn in my side.
During the different scenarios I had to practice an enhanced lockdown and evacuation. There were moments when I felt hopeless and thought about Harrison and Sydney. In the first scenario I was “shot” twice in the leg and once in the stomach with nerf balls, while hiding under a table. I was dead.
Immediately I realized that as much as I thought about Harrison and Sydney, my main priority would be to save my students. With each scenario and reflection it gave us an opportunity to see what we did well and why we made the choices that we did.
This is when I wanted to be like Sydney and yell “We’re all gonna die!” When I started teaching in 1996 I would have never thought I would have to prepare for an active shooter in school.
I learned that my fat ass can run when necessary because during the evacuation drill I made it to the safe zone and was hit once in the arm with a nerf ball.
I did become overwhelmed at one point and I couldn’t help but think back to my prior incident. I sat out for one scenario, had a hot flash, talked to Jesus and then finished the training.
Gone are the days of it won’t happen here, not in my neighborhood or city. We don’t have to live in constant fear, but this is definitely a discussion I want to continue having with Harrison and Sydney, so that they are prepared.
Would you know what to do if an active shooter entered your workplace or church? Get a plan!