School Shooting and Safety Tips

School Shooting and Safety Tips

School shootings have become commonplace in our society. 51 have occurred in 2022  with 140 deaths. We are only 4 months into the start of the new year and there have already been 25 school shootings. This is something we need to talk about – not to frighten, but to inform. We return to Holy Family with the most recent school shooting in Nashville just six days ago. While we cannot predict a tragedy such as this, we, as students, can be prepared to make decisions that keep ourselves and our friends safe. The following information comes from St. Mary’s College of Maryland.


  • Run– If you are able to get out of the building safely- do it. Remember,  you are the  priority –  not your stuff. Dump everything and run. Once you are in a safe space, call 911 and let emergency responders know where you are and any other information you can remember. 
  • Hide- In the event that you are not able to escape the scene safely, the second best option is to hide. The best spots are areas with thick walls and no windows. If there are windows, lower the window coverings. If there are no window coverings, stay away from the windows. Lock all the doors and barricade the door with chairs, desks, etc. Turn off lights and electronic devices that can make sounds. If you are outside, find a building that can act as a shelter. Remain where you are until you are told by law enforcement that everything is safe. Try to remain calm and quiet as possible.
  • Fight- This should be used only in the event you can either not run or hide and you are in severe danger. Use physical aggression towards the shooter such as kicking, punching, biting, etc. Use any item to defend yourself: chairs, fire extinguishers, backpacks,or any item in the room . Call 911 when it is safe to do so. 


When law enforcement arrives, it is crucial to follow their instructions and hold your hands high where they can see them at all times. Do not make any sudden movements towards the officer. Do not stop and ask the officers for instructions. Simply get out of the building. Police officers may ask you the following questions:

  • Location of the active shooter 
  • Number of shooters, if more than one
  • Physical description of shooter/s
  • Number and type of weapons held by the shooter/s
  • Number of potential victims at the location


What can we do to avoid a tragic situation? Always be aware of your surroundings. Report any suspicious activity, people, or mention of gun violence immediately to a trusted adult, teacher, or the authorities. If someone you know is struggling, don’t be afraid to reach out to an adult. Even if you are not too sure,  it is better to say something just in case. Today, we  have lockdown drills in addition to fire and tornado drills. This is something that didn’t exist 20 years  ago. The rise in mental health issues among young adults and the access to guns has created a dangerous combination that is playing out in our schools. Teenagers already have a lot of stress from school, relationships, and sports, just to name a few dynamics. Being worried or scared about school shootings is just another thing that is added to their plates. I never thought that I would have to think about something like this, but now that there has been an increase in shootings, I believe that it is important to remind the school community how to keep as safe as possible..