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Preparing students for potential active-shooter situation

A safety and security director says students should make sure to get inside a nearby classroom as quickly as possible.
Published: May. 25, 2022 at 7:33 PM EDT
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HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) - For students of any age, the thought of trying to navigate the possibility of an active-shooter situation can be an overwhelming thing to do.

However, following the tragedy at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, one of many thoughts running through parents’ minds is how to help prepare their children ahead of a potentially life-threatening situation.

“Students are all trained to go to the nearest classroom whether it’s theirs or not,” said Mike Hart, safety and security director at Wayne County Schools.

We spoke with Hart to get perspective on what his team teaches their students.

“The teachers are to scan those hallways in their areas and bring in anyone that’s in the hallways. Then they lock the door, cover the window if possible -- of course keep quiet and, if necessary, we can evacuate,” Hart said.

Hart says the same advice goes for students who may not already be inside a classroom or near one. For example, if a student is in the bathroom or cafeteria, Hart advises them to get to a nearby classroom as quickly as possible.

“They need to not stay there and they need to go to the nearest classroom and run as fast as they can. Chances of being hit by a stray bullet or something from that intruder is very, very minimal if they’re running. So, we now tell them to go to the nearest classroom,” Hart said.

School districts like Wayne County also have a system for reporting threats, such as the app called “STOPit.”

This is where students are encouraged to report any incidents or threats they’ve heard about on social media or in and around school. You can report anything anonymously through these apps, and it goes directly to administration.

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