A few weeks ago, The Gatepost ran an editorial concerning the Las Vegas shooting. We called on state legislatures to enforce stricter gun control laws to prevent future massacres.
This week, keeping FSU in mind, we at The Gatepost believe it’s important students, staff and faculty understand the proper procedures to follow should an active shooter be on campus.
When confronted by an individual with a firearm, understandably, people often don’t know how to react and don’t understand the safest and most logical method of leaving that situation unharmed.
On the FSU website, under “Emergency Protocols,” there are several PDF documents that contain recommendations on how to respond to emergency situations such as an active shooter, bomb threat or natural disaster.
Did you know that? Probably not.
Given the University does not publicize this information nearly as much as it should, The Gatepost wants to take this time to share a few of the recommendations listed and suggest ways the University should inform the community about safety procedures.
The first, and most obvious suggestion is to leave the building where the shooter is located and call FSUPD.
If leaving the building is not possible, FSUPD suggests going to the nearest room, closing and locking the doors and blocking all windows.
Should the situation arise that one comes face-to-face with the gunman, FSUPD suggests remaining calm and listening without judgment to the “person in crisis.”
While residents are told much of this information, as resident assistants are encouraged to inform them about “shelter in place” and lockdown procedures, commuters aren’t given much guidance.
Little information in regards to emergency protocol is provided in the 204-page Ram Student Handbook.
We suggest the University require first-year Foundations classes to have a unit that discusses proper safety protocols in cases of emergency. Additionally, we believe the University should regularly schedule “shelter in place” and lockdown drills at least twice a year.
Before incoming first-year students can attend the University, they are required to take online informational sessions regarding the dangers of excessive drinking and sexual assault. We suggest the University require students complete a similar program to inform them of what to do during an emergency situation, should one arise.
The University Police department already regularly offers an Active Shooting training course. Created by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), this 45-minute online course details the best practices one should utilize when confronted by an active shooter and the aftermath. Why not make this a required course for all incoming students?
While we at The Gatepost hope students, faculty and staff are never put in a situation in which this information needs to be put into practice, it’s essential everyone is prepared.