Tennessee schools get serious about active shooter drills

Feb 26, 2018

WASHINGTON, DC (WMOT/AP)  --  State governors met with President Donald Trump at the White House Monday to discuss school safety options in the wake of the Florida school shooting that left 17 people dead.

The president asked the governors to help him develop a list of policy proposals to send to Capitol Hill for action by lawmakers.

Credit rems.ed.gov

Here in Tennessee Mike Herrmann of the School Safety Center is charged with helping the state’s school systems prepare for active shooter attacks like the Florida incident.

Herrmann says that at one time schools were reluctant to do shots fired drills because they can be unnerving for students and their parents. He says some schools even went so far as to disguise active shooter drills as some other type of safety exercise.

Herrmann says the drills are now required and taken seriously.

“We’ve certainly seen much more of a concern about being sure that those drills get done right and that the relationships are in place with police and everybody that needs to be involved in that.”

One of the things parents find most distressing about shots-fired school lock-downs is that it may be hours before they learn the fate of their children. Herrmann says school administrators are working to reduce the stress of not knowing what’s happening.

“One of the things I’ve been most impressed with most recently is the work that I see a lot of districts doing around really making those reunification processes something that’s going to be smooth and as minimally painful as it needs to be.”

Would you like to learn more about the Tennessee School Safety Center?