Today was a very surreal day. Our staff spent the morning in teacher in-service. The topic: how to respond when there is a shooter (active killer) in your school. During the training in the morning, we were informed that there was a shooting at Harrisburg High School. The room was in shock. For many I think the first reaction was one of disbelief: "Is this part of the training?" I am sure that was followed up by fear and worry. Many have family, friends, and other connections in the school district. Many probably remembered what happened in our town last year.
I am very happy that there were no serious physical injuries. I also know that the reaction of the Harrisburg administration are to be held up as how to react to a shooter. Assistant Principal Ryan Rollinger and AD Joe Struwe showed impressive courage and quick thinking in reacting to the shooting. It is amazing the Principal Lein would get on the intercom to inform and try to calm his students. The actions of Rollinger and Struwe fell right in line with what we were being trained to do in our school.
I also know that this is not justification to put armed guards in our hallways. It is definitely not justification for arming teachers. Our trainer (a police officer from Iowa) pointed out that police officers only hit their target 20% of the time.
This is a time to think about what to do when you think it can't happen in your school; what to do when it happens in your town. Putting more guns in the school is still not the solution, but that doesn't mean that I would have to lie down and not fight back.
I also know one more thing...tell those close to you that you love them.