So today we had early dismissal so that we could spend the afternoon running active shooter drills.
Loads of local law enforcement and other agencies participated in the drill. We had fifty-ish hand picked students to play the part of student victims. We had several previous PDs to go over how to handle ourselves. And we had two live "bad guys" with blank-firing guns to make it all nice and realistic.
We ran four drills. Because my room is far off in one wing of the building, I missed most of the excitement. I did not even hear the gunfire or the screams, and would not have known what was happening had the office not provided announcements (as part of the drill) like "Shots fired in the science wing." That was for three of the drills.
We were not of course told what simulations would be run. I don't know if it would have helped. Probably not. But Scenario #3 turned out to be a lunch shift. My lunch shift.
The shooters prepped the students and put them at ease. Selected some to stand against the wall and be shot dead, a couple of others to be wounded. Administrators, observers, local press stood along the walls to watch.
My usual post is on the wall with the entrance doors. The shooter fired first outside, in the hall. The shots were loud-- we knew they were coming and the students still shrieked in surprise and alarm. The shooter entered and began. My colleagues at the other end yelled for the students to go toward them, to get out. I had to walk the length of the cafeteria to get to an exit, the shooter to my right, executing the four pre-selected victims. Students dove under tables, huddled against the wall. I waved them up, toward the exit. We go out, went around the building to the safe zone.
I don't know if I saw all the students. I don't know if I got them all out. I'm pretty sure I didn't, and even with preparation and the fact that it wasn't real, the choice between shooing them out and lagging back to make sure they were all up and moving while the gun was still shooting- BAM BAM BAM BAM-- was a little bit beyond my processing powers in that moment.
I won't lie. I was shaken. I'm still shaken. We debriefed at the end of the day and the law CURMUDGUCATION: Active Shooter: