Troy Buchanan High School in Missouri has created a vivid simulation of a school shooting that involves student volunteers who are smeared with fake blood, “gunmen” who shoot blanks at the volunteers, and fake hostage situations, NBC News reports.
Other states have also been using so-called active shooter drills in some form to help train cops for the scary possibility of a school shooting.
In Missouri, a new law requires schools to stage active shooter response training that can create policies for how teachers and police officers respond to threats, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. The law requires live simulations.
The drills don’t need to involve the entire student body. The training is so realistic that it can be traumatizing, and schools typically ask for volunteers (sometimes drama students) who want to participate.
A drill at Troy Buchanan last month lasted only eight minutes. Police arrived about three minutes after the “shooting” started, and they took the “shooter” out a few minutes after that.
The simulations also help teachers learn to recognise the sound of gunshots and how to react to possible shooting situations. The Post-Dispatch notes that most school shootings are over by the time police arrive on scene, so teachers need to know the best ways to keep their students safe.
Part of the Troy Buchanan drill involved having a student taken “hostage” who had to run around and bang on classroom doors trying to get in. If someone in one of the classrooms opened the door, the shooter would just come in behind the hostage.
Schools in other states including Illinois, Tennessee, North Carolina, and Washington have also started to use mock shootings as a form of training.
Some have criticised these drills, saying they might incite too much fear or panic in students when, in reality, school shootings are relatively rare.
Check out video of the Missouri drill from NBC:
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