Mass shootings have become more common in the past several years. Therefore, it is vital that all schools in the U.S. have a safety plan intact in order to keep their community sheltered from harm.
Since the start of 2023, the U.S. has already seen a significant number of mass shootings arise. As the numbers seem to only be growing more rapidly, it’s important that students are aware of how to protect themselves if a shooting were to occur.
On March 12, a shooting took place during the early morning, near Azusa Pacific University. Sources say that three homeless people were hospitalized due to this event. Since the incident happened near the university, APU students should be informed on what measures to take to ensure their safety.
Colleges all across California have been implementing different strategies in order to prepare for any threats that might be made towards their community. It’s beneficial to research how other colleges are safe-guarding their campuses so APU can carry out similar practices.
According to the LA Times, 10 California campuses have been dedicating their time to improving safety at their schools. Colleges in California have been holding trainings, upgrading technology, placing unarmed security officers on campus and hiring mental health professionals.
Back in 1976, Cal State Fullerton experienced a devastating incident when a custodian killed seven people in the school library. Scot Willey, an acting police chief at CSUF said, “We don’t really want to think that could happen here, but we know that it did happen here.” Now, the college has been taking serious steps to ensure the safety and well-being of their students.
CSUF holds active shooter drills every two years now. The school practices drills in several locations on campus. These locations included on campus, in parking structures and in the student union.
Also, during the summer, around 200 students participated in active shooter drills. For this procedure, students were told which spots were good for hiding. They were also taught to be resourceful with the items around them. For example, the students should use staplers, iPads or laptops to help protect themselves during a lockdown.
John Ojeisekhoba is vice president and chief of campus safety at Biola University. After the mass shooting that happened at Virginia Tech in 2007, Ojeisekhoba knew this could easily happen to his community too. He said, “after Virginia Tech, the pendulum swung to … ‘It can actually happen to my campus. We’re not immune.’”
The chief of campus safety at Biola University said it isn’t enough to have police officers on campus, colleges should partner with local and federal agencies to conduct training. Therefore, the community will be prepared to handle a mass shooting, if it were ever to happen.
Laura Wilson is the director of the Department of Public Safety at Stanford University. Wilson explains which prevention steps the Stanford community should take if an active shooter were to arrive on their campus.
She says that if you are able to safely escape, then you should do so. However, if it’s unwise to leave, then it’s important to remember the saying, run, hide and fight. Find a place to hide, and put heavy objects in between you and the threat. The last resort would be to try to disarm or fight the shooter, if you and other people are in immediate danger.