When it comes to school shootings, we are not America, but we can and must learn the lessons that these tragedies offer. A rehearsed lockdown is no longer a nice-to-have – it should be mandatory.
Why? Well, it is the same as the safety demonstration you get when you board an aircraft and are shown how to open the seatbelt. This always struck me as “teaching me to suck eggs” and would be the very least of my worries should the plane crash. That is until someone explained that research of numerous crashes showed that a significant number of fatalities were caused in burning planes by people remaining strapped into their seats, frantically trying to get the belt off!
Travelling by plane is one of the safest forms of transport, but we are still reminded that your chances of survival, should a crash occur, are significantly higher if you are reminded how to get your seat belt off. The same applies to lockdowns.
The death toll in Florida is likely to have been significantly higher in the absence of a well-rehearsed CODE RED drill (presence of an active shooter on campus).
The learning from this tragic high school shooting is not that every UK school needs a code red drill, but that whatever the threat might be in the UK school, angry parent or ex-pupil armed with a knife, your chances of surviving increase dramatically if you have rehearsed a lockdown procedure. It is that simple.
So you don’t need code red, but you do need to go through that safety briefing and, if you are like me, actually practice how to undo the seat belt to start to build that muscle memory. Start stacking the odds in your favour.