What To Do if There is an Attempted School Shooting


Photo Credit: S.L.C. Schools

Havalah Heale, Advertising Editor

With the rise in school shootings in America, it’s critical that we know how to react. I interviewed Dr.Wright, the WHS principal, to shed light on what to do in a situation where a threat is present.

What should a student’s first course of action be?

Dr. Wright: The first course of action is to calmly assess the situation. If you are in a classroom, it is important to listen carefully to your teacher’s instructions, so that we can handle the situation as calmly and quickly as possible. Most of all, stay calm.

How often are there school shooting drills?

Dr. Wright: There is a drill every other month, half of which are evacuation drills. The rest of the drills are up to the school to decide. In April we will have a “great shake” drill. This year, because of the lockdown, we will not have a lockdown drill.

What are the threat levels?

Dr. Wright: There are levels of threats – running from secure (locking down the exterior buildings, but letting students shuffle through classes), to lockdown (with a threat inside the building, and the building being locked down and as segmented as possible), to a very, very real threat (someone wielding a weapon in a building, or a group that has become uncontrollable, a situation where people will need to evacuate.

If the threat becomes very serious, what should students and faculty do?

Dr. Wright: In any type of situation, the most important thing is staying calm, and listening to your teachers, but also using common sense. Follow your gut, and don’t do anything risky. Your safety is extremely important to us, and a situation this extreme is highly unlikely. (For reference, the situation on Dec 13 was a lockdown level threat.

In a situation like the one on Dec 13, what should you do?

Dr. Wright: Exactly what students and faculty did. Students, please listen to your teachers, they are getting information and updates, and have had training on these situations. It is important to stay calm, and not panic or over react.

If the shooter tries to enter a classroom, what should you do?

Dr. Wright: Emergency services are here all that time, and are on call when needed (there is also a fire department within viewing distance). When there isn’t a clear message from the PA system, then you follow your teacher and what your teacher says to do. There is a booklet on the protocol for almost any situation in every room (the rainbow calendars).

How and when should you exit a classroom?

Dr. Wright: Trust your gut- exit the classroom as a last resort, and only if the situation requires it.

How does a student report a threat?

Dr. Wright: If a student has a report, they should go to the nearest adult and report it, through the safe ut app, and share any and all information they have. The adult should take the threat seriously, and act quickly.

What do you think should be changed to reduce the threat of school shootings?

Dr. Wright: Remember that what is reported is taken seriously, especially if it is a situation that could end up being a school shooting or a lockdown, and reporting those immediately to an adult. And adults in the building being reminded to take things seriously.