Our view | Shooter drills needed for students’ safety

Two of the largest teacher unions in the nation are now advocating for schools to eliminate active shooter drills, claiming that the practice hurts children’s mental health and can create a traumatic experience. 

The main argument against school shooting drills is that they cause more harm than they do good. Many teachers are now calling for the drills to be completely eliminated, saying that it is better to talk through scenarios rather than physically put kids through the experience. 

But in the world we live in, shootings can happen at any time and anywhere. It’s not a far off threat: in fact, at the end of 2019, there had been 417 mass shootings, surpassing the 337 shootings that occurred in 2018. 

School shootings, unfortunately, are a known evil that most students have in the back of their minds throughout the entire day, and the thing that makes it the scariest is the fact that we have no idea when or if it is going to happen. 

Education is the key to protecting our nation’s children from a world of fear and misinformation. If our teachers no longer educate us on what to do if an active shooter situation occurs, kids will have no idea what to do or how to handle that intense of a situation. By physically going through hiding drills, students are forced to take time to think of their own individual action plan that could one day save their lives. 

And the education shouldn’t just stop there, either. Our schools need to actively participate in shooter drills as well as mental health training in recognizing the signs of potentially violent behavior. Until we have stricter gun laws, our schools need to do what they’re supposed to do: educate. This includes physically going through the motions of what to do if there was a shooter in the building. 

While for some this may be “traumatic,” it is ultimately necessary for the greater good. Scary situations surround us in our everyday lives anyway. For instance, schools wouldn’t ban tornado or fire drills just because students find it traumatic because they know that being scared is a small price to pay when it comes to being prepared for life-threatening situations. 

No matter what kind of drills we practice or education we receive, there is truly nothing that can completely compare us for a situation like a school shooting. It’s daunting, but if there’s anything we can do to even help us a little bit, it will ultimately be worthwhile. One drill can hold the power to save a student’s life, and that alone makes all of the rest worth it.

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