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School shooter? What you should do

In+the+event+of+an+emergency%2C+individuals+should+evaluation+their+circumstances+and+make+the+best+choice+for+survival.+Illustration+is+courtesy+of+U.S+Navy
In the event of an emergency, individuals should evaluation their circumstances and make the best choice for survival. Illustration is courtesy of U.S Navy

In the event of an emergency, individuals should evaluation their circumstances and make the best choice for survival. Illustration is courtesy of U.S Navy

In the event of an emergency, individuals should evaluation their circumstances and make the best choice for survival. Illustration is courtesy of U.S Navy

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After the 18th school shooting, many concerns flooded the minds of the Charter Oak community: How can administrators ensure our safety on campus? Does CO have a procedure for an active shooter other than a lock down? Should there be a training for teachers or students in what to do in the event of a shooting?

Since then, I interviewed Principal Joey Strycula about my concerns for students at this school.

Mr. Strycula sent out a school-wide email to every teacher and staff member on campus with a procedure about what to do in the event of a shooting: Run, Hide and Fight. The Federal Emergency Management Agency encourage individuals consider their circumstances in an emergency situation to take appropriate action. Students and teachers nationwide are be taught to “Run, Hide, Fight” in the event of an active shooter on campus.

FEMA, an agency within the US Department of Homeland Security, teaches individuals to run away from the shooter, if it is safe to do so. Have an escape route and plan in mind. Threatened individuals should leave their belongings behind, and keep their hands visible so first responders will know who the victims are. If it is not safe to run, individuals should hide. Hide in an area out of the shooter’s view.  In addition to blocking the entry, doors should be locked, lights turned out,and cell phones silenced. Fight is the response of last resort and only when an individual’s life is in imminent danger. Items in the vicinity can be  thrown at or used to harm or disarm the shooter.

Whether to Run, Hide and Fight depends on where the shooter is located and what the nearest teacher, aide or student decides is the best for that particular situation. CO teachers will be given training by the Covina and Glendora Police Department in the coming weeks. Teachers will share their knowledge with their students in every period they teach. These students will now know what the possible actions could be in the event of a tragedy if they are in that specific location.

Mr. Stycula also expanded on lock downs. Instructions will be given on the loudspeaker so teachers will have needed information about the emergency.

Many students in America are witnessing these school shootings on the news and throughout the years are developing an understandable fear of their school being attacked.

What can these students do combat this fear? Continue to educate yourself. Statistically, individuals more likely to die in a car crash than in a school shooting. Students need not live their lives in fear because there is a small chance of an incident happening.  Fear only gives shooters the satisfaction terrorizing innocent lives.

Students are encouraged to report suspicious activity, whether it be online or in person.  

After the shooting at their school, Marjory Stoneman Douglas students have spoke publicly about gun control on the news, on social media and in protests.

The same women who organized the Women’s March are orchestrating the National School Walkout on March 14, a month after the Florida shooting, at 10 am to honor the seventeen lives lost. Another march is set for March 24, March for our Lives, demanding gun control and human rights. A school second walkout is planned for April 20, the nineteenth anniversary of the Columbine High School massacre, with an intent to peacefully protest America’s gun laws.

“According to California Law and Education code, students are required to be here in school,” said Mr. Strycula. “I cannot officially give any student permission to walk out of school unsupervised because technically we are responsible for you. If something were to happen to you, we are responsible.” However Mr. Strycula supports the cause one hundred percent. He recognizes the need to take a hard look in this country at gun control. “I never understood why anyone needs a semi-automatic weapon,” he said.

If students do decide to leave campus, without their parents’ permission, those students will receive a truancy and be marked absent from their classes.

However, students will be supported in a school wide walkout in memory of those who lost their lives on Feb. 14. The walkout will take place on March 14 during second period at 10:15 in the quad. Mrs. Mary McKinley, history teacher, encourages students to make a difference by contacting their elected officials. 

Take a selfie in the quad, and tell your senator and congressman that it is time to protect students.

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