Expert Speaks About Preparing Oklahoma Schools For Mass Shooting Situations

Friday, December 14th 2012, 8:13 pm
By: News 9

Preparing for the worst-case scenario here at home, one local expert speaks out about the readiness of schools.

12/14/2012 Related Story: Police: 20 Children, Six Adults Killed In Connecticut School Shooting

Brett Key has years of law enforcement experience and developed a program to make sure Oklahoma schools are prepared for a similar situation.

It's all about being prepared and one local law enforcement officer with years of experience says it's never too early to start planning. He's come up with a program to go into schools and teach administrators and staffs how to handle a gunman inside a school. He says many schools have lockdown plans and evacuation plans in place, and it's up to teachers and staff members to get the children to safety.

His company recommends teachers get their students quickly into a classroom and lock the door. Move the student away from windows and doors, and if possible cover any windows. Lastly call 911 if possible.

Key says a lot of districts don't practice these plans often enough and when they do, children aren't typically present.

That's usually because parents are worried about scaring their kids, but Key says parents should already be talking to children at home about what to do in any type of violent situation, including a school shooting.

"We need to tell them to be aware of their surroundings and if something doesn't seem right, they need to run, they need to get out of the way. The natural reaction is to run and tell them not to fight that. To find somewhere to hide, to get under a desk, to lock themselves in a bathroom, lock themselves behind any door they can and wait for somebody to come and find them," Key said.

After Friday's shooting some area school districts are considering expanding their security systems. Many of the districts have a plan in place for when an active shooter enters a school. But Key said the plan has to work perfectly to minimize casualties so training is key. His company actually going into schools and trains the staff how to respond.

"What we teach them to do on the lockdown is to get the door closed, get it locked, if you can cover the window, cover the window, turn the lights and stuff out and get the kids to be quiet. Possibility if you have a cell phone," Key said.

Another piece to all of this, it may be a difficult time for many students as they hear bits and pieces of information about today's shooting and parents need to be prepared to talk to their kids in a calm...controlled manner.

"I think as a parent, I'm responding to their questions, I'm not leading the questions. How do you feel about this? Do you want to talk about it? What do you know about it? What do you want to know about it? I think I'm letting them open that door and being very cautious to make sure more than anything they feel safe," Key said.

Several schools in the metro told News 9 they are looking at expanding their security measures because of Friday's shooting.