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Active shooting situation drills should focus on preparing staff, not worrying students

Police respond to the scene of an active shooting in San Bernardino, Calif. on Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2015. (Rachel Luna/Los Angeles News Group via AP)

Following a deadly shooting in Phoenix that left a family of five dead at the hands of a relative on Tuesday, we here at KTAR News decided to report on what to do in an active shooter situation.

I, on the other hand, am quite on the fence with this. I believe the odds of finding yourself in an active shooter situation are just about slim to none.

That being said, it does not mean you should not be prepared for one. If you, as an individual, want to prepare for the worst, go ahead. I’m all for it. If your company wants to run a couple drills every year, I say, “Good for that organization.”

But here is where it gets sticky: school campuses. I start to get a little jittery when the active shooter courses are conducted in schools.

Statistically, schools are the safest place we can take our children on a daily basis. I do not think young children should have to concern themselves with something that will most likely never happen to them.

Yes, we conduct fire drills, tornado drills, etc. — I get it. However, the risk of fire is present and read at almost every school in the nation every single day. Food is being prepared in the cafeteria while a group of sixth-graders are lighting up science labs.

Fires happen, and often. But active shooters however, not so much.

I feel that active shooter training and drills for kids is simply borrowing trouble. It puts fear into the children and it teaches any would-be active shooter exactly what happens when the first shot is fired.

If we must hold active shooter drills in schools, let’s keep it to the adults, such as teachers, administrators and staff.

Let’s face it, the grownups have the burden of safety placed squarely on their shoulders and it would be best served to train them. In addition, the adults have the maturity to separate preparedness from the fear of imminent danger.

There’s no need to strike the fear of death by madman into our kids while they are still trying to wrap their heads around the Pythagorean theorem.

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