Gypsy Wanderer Husky,
I would like to politely offer some clarifying information on the topic. I do not mean this as an attack on anyone. I appreciate that we are all very concerned about this type of thing. Kids are our most precious resource and when things like this come out, it can be concerning.
With that said, that article is full of exaggeration, half-truths, and misrepresented facts. All very typical from the source – infowars. Infowars is not a credible source. I would not bother reading it. It is not open source research material and will not lead you to making informed and accurate decisions.
Without going into my background at all (I intend to remain as anonymous as possible) I will say that this is a subject that I have experience with. I am sure that I have not seen everything, , but I am very familiar with what is considered to be common practices nationwide related to the topic of active shooters and lockdown protocol.
First, I lets deal with misconceptions:
DHS or Homeland Security is not some omnipotent mysterious behemoth operating under shadowy pretenses. Simply put, it is a blanket title for about 16 different separate agencies that are grouped together under a governmental umbrella but operate seperately. These include Customs and Border Protection, Immigration, TSA, FEMA, Coast Guard, etc. There is no secret agency called the DHS. It is simply the organizational title umbrella that these other agencies are lumped under for efficiency purposes.
Next, it would be a very odd occurrence for “DHS” to run any active shooter training in a school setting. Why, you ask? Because they would not be the responding authority to that type of situation. Generally, that training is done by local law enforcement only. Since they are responsible for responding to an active shooter in a school first, they are the ones who organize and train on it. Now, the DHS does offer an active shooter instructor training program at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center that some local officers can go and complete and return home to teach their local department. They also provide education resources for responding to an active shooter. You can view them here: http://www.dhs.gov/active-shooter-preparedness .It is good, solid resources and there is nothing sinister to be found.
The only time I could even speculate that DHS would be involved at an actual school is if a school district invited them in to consult on lockdown procedures or view a drill and provide feedback.
Regarding Active Shooter Incidents – There are some things you should understand. The following has been copied and pasted from an article discussing law enforcement gold standards for active shooter training.
Factors Involved in Mitigating Active Shooter Incidents
There are 3 different factors that contribute to active shooter threat mitigation. They are police response effectiveness, limiting the target availability of the shooter, and early identification.
Police response includes the speed at which the officers can respond to the scene, the efficiency that the officers have in locating and resolving the immediate threat, efficiency of handling the scene after the initial threat has been eliminated. It also includes the ability of dispatch to handle incoming information, sift it appropriately, and relay it to patrol in a concise manner that encourages logical resource flow to the event.
Limiting the target availability of the shooter is best addressed through the use of school lockdown procedures and access denial techniques.
Early identification includes both scanning/discriminating individuals on the campus and being observant of behavior warning signs exhibited by students or staff.
We can never fully eliminate the chances that an active shooter event will occur. What we can do is reduce their opportunity to occur and lessen the impact if they do.
Understanding the Law Enforcement Response Priorities
When discussing an active shooter program, before anything else, everyone involved needs a clear understanding of what the law enforcement response priorities are. They are as follows:
1. Eliminate the threat.
2. Secure the area.
3. Handle live-saving emergency medical situations.
4. Orderly Evacuation of the injured from the area.
5. Orderly Evacuation of the area by non-injured.
6. Scene Management
Handling the situation in this specific order is vital to minimize loss of life and increase survivability of those involved – both civilians and first responders. It is one of those situations where there aren’t other equally effective paths that can be chosen. It is THE path. Regardless of the length of training I like to constantly reinforce the idea to responders that the first priority, before anything else, is to stop the threat. It is only after this is accomplished that the other items on the list begin to matter – because it is only after the active threat is eliminated that they can be adequately addressed at all.
It is not only our officers that need to understand the response priorities, it is also important for us to make our school teachers and administrators aware of this protocol. Initially, educators may make the assumption that emergency medical would precede threat elimination – especially in the scenario where a severely injured person is the first immediate thing encountered prior to reaching the active shooter. We want to make our audience aware of our response and explain why. We have found a plumbing analogy to be one effective way to explain the logic behind the chosen response. It goes as follows: Let’s imagine you have a leaking pipe in your kitchen. At the point you make the discovery, the water is covering a significant area of the kitchen floor. You can run and get towels and a mop and get to work in a frantic attempt to clean up the water. You may see some initial success, but the pipe will continue to leak and replace the water you are cleaning up. It won’t be long until you have exhausted yourself and all of your resources and the cumulative water damage has continued to increase and spread damage to other areas. Contrast that with a different approach. Upon identifying the leaking pipe, you move quickly to turn off the main water supply. Now, the problem is still bad, but it isn’t getting any worse. You can then use your resources (mops and towels) to contain the damage and begin cleaning up the mess one portion at a time until you have completed the task.
In the end, whether you are talking about plumbing leaks or active shooters, problems can be made at a much faster rate than they can be resolved, thus it is imperative that we focus our first greatest effort on stopping the cause of the problem. Only after that is done, are we in a position to start dealing with the damage done.”
In regards to keeping kids from their parents, there is no conspiracy to do so. Generally, kids will be evacuated as soon as the threat is eliminated and the area is secure. Remember, now the area is a crime scene and there is no logical reason why anyone would want the kids to remain there any longer than absolutely necessary. That being said, evacuation will not usually start until either the entire school is secure or at a minimum, a safety corridor has been established for evacuation. This may take hours – not days.
Evacuation may consist of moving kids to an alternate location (sometimes but not always) because of the limited ability of the school to handle enormous amounts of parents, emergency vehicles, media, spectators, etc. It would not be unusual to have another school, large mall parking lot, stadium, etc as a pre-decided rally point for parents to meet evacuated students. This would keep them separate and protected somewhat from the emergency vehicle chaos and media frenzy and allow parents a safe place to reunite with children.
And no, parents are not going to be allowed to rush into an area to get their kids in the middle of an active shooter event. That is just not the way things work in any country or any point in time – ever. That is not holding kids hostage or keeping someone’s kids from them – that is temporarily protecting someone from their own lack of common sense. A delay for the sake of everyone’s safety – not holding the kids hostage.
Referencing pointing guns at children during lock down drills.
Lockdown drills at schools are usually separate from active shooter training in most areas. Lockdown drills don’t involve guns, just practice locking doors, getting out of the halls, and going through a list of pre-set procedures.
Active shooter training is usually done without students present. Adult or college age volunteers usually “play” the part of students to add realism. I am sure you can find some school or police department somewhere that does things differently and unprofessionally. However, what I have outlined is generally common across the country.
I will close by saying that active shooters and school based terrorism is a huge concern for law enforcement. The desire to keep a Beslan type of massacre from happening in America is driving the bus on this training and these drills. It is really misdirected energy to lump it in with some FEMA conspiracy to steal kids and put them into concentration camps. I assure you.