An active shooter training drill at an Ohio high school included some very realistic sound effects Wednesday, as police fired blanks from shotguns and rifles during an exercise to teach students how to respond to a threat, according to the Dayton Daily News.
In a three-hour training session at Franklin High School, students were put through a step-by-step simulation of a potential active shooter situation in order to learn how to properly barricade a classroom or evacuate the school.
The drill put students in their classrooms, and after they heard the gunshots, they were given the option to try to determine what direction the shots were coming from as the classes walk through the appropriate reactions.
“We want to inform, educate and empower students,” district business manager Rodney Roberts said. “I feel very strongly about this. We’ve been talking about this for two years. It’s the next step to building a solid plan.”
After the actual drill is done, students will return to classes for discussion and other “social emotional activities.”
In an era in which school shootings, while undeniably tragic, receive a disproportionate amount of coverage in contrast with how often they occur, some argue that hyper-realistic simulations actually serve to do more harm than good by causing students anxiety about their safety.
Some schools have in the past conducted surprise active shooter drills that send students into panic, have allowed students and staff to be shot with airsoft guns during trainings, and played 911 calls from previous school shootings for young students. Also, the general discourse around gun violence in America and the gun control debate focuses heavily on school violence.
As a result, research has found that a majority of students and parents are either somewhat or very worried about a school shooting occurring.
Franklin is less than 20 miles from Dayton, where one of the more recent mass murders took place. Nine people were killed by a gunman on Aug. 4 in the nightlife district of Dayton.