By: Krystle Crossman
Buchanan High School in Troy, Missouri believes in being prepared for emergencies. They want their students and staff to know what to do and where to go if something like a fire should happen in the building. They are now running a drill that simulates a mass “Columbine style” shooting.
In the wake of Sandy Hook, Virginia Tech, Columbine, and so many other school shootings, Buchanan staff thinks that this is a way to get their students and staff to understand the severity of a school shooting and try to help them learn what to do in a real situation. These drills are for law enforcement as well to help them learn the best techniques to minimize the damage and get control of the situation as quickly as possible.
The staff at the school got 69 students involved in the drill. They got fake blood and had people putting bullet wounds on students. They then had someone acting as a shooter with an AR-15 assault rifle filled with blanks go around the school and “shoot” students. The fire alarms went off to alert people of an emergency. One student said that she was trying to think of a place to go where she could hide and be safe but she couldn’t think of anything. Even the bathroom stall is a vulnerable hiding place.
This year was the 13th year that Lincoln County has staged a shooting. The states of Illinois, Arkansas, and Missouri have all adopted laws that require schools to run these types of drills every year. This law goes into effect this year. There were 20 different superintendents on hand at the drill to take notes and see how it was run. Some of the students that had done the drill before said it is still just as shocking as the first time. One girl said that the first time she participated she kept having to remind herself over and over that it wasn’t real; it was just a drill. This year the drill got to quite a few students who became emotional just at the thought that this could really happen in their school and the fact that other kids had to go through it in theirs. The terror really is unimaginable.
One of the students was selected to be the hostage and as the drill began she was “forced” to run through the hallway banging on the doors for someone to open them for her. None of the doors opened. This is scary for the hostage as it seems like no one is going to help you, but they are trying to protect those in the classrooms already.
After 8 minutes the drill was over. The shooter had been “killed”. Students that had been splayed along the hallway floors covered in fake blood began to stir and get up. One girl remained on the floor trembling because she was sobbing.
Some people sent in comments of displeasure about the drills saying that seeing children covered in blood, fake or not, was extremely disturbing and not something that they would want their children to be a part of. The drills that will be performed in the schools will not all be this elaborate, but they are all going to be meant to help figure out what to do should a horrible situation like this occur.