Pelham High holding student safety assembliesPublished 11:20am Monday, February 11, 2013
By NEAL WAGNER / City Editor
Pelham High School will be looking to prepare students for an active shooter scenario during several assemblies in the school’s auditorium from Feb. 12-15.
During the assemblies, the school will show the Alabama Department of Homeland Security’s “Run, hide, fight” video, which depicts an active shooter in an office-type setting.
“Across the nation, we have seen an escalation in active shooter events in workplaces, schools and entertainment venues,” Alabama Department of Homeland Security Director Spencer Collier said in the video.
The video encourages those caught in an active shooter situation to attempt to flee danger first before alerting authorities.
“Trying to get yourself out of harm’s way needs to be your number-one priority,” the video’s narrator said.
If fleeing is not an option, the video encouraged those caught in the active shooter situation to hide – preferably in a barricaded, locked room with the lights off – and to remain calm and quiet.
The video suggests fighting the shooter “only as a last resort if your life is at risk.” When fighting a shooter, the video encouraged improvising weapons and attempting to disarm or incapacitate the shooter.
When first responders arrive on the scene, the video encouraged those on the scene to keep their hands visible and avoid pointing or yelling.
“If you are ever to find yourself in the middle of an active shooter event, your survival may depend on whether or not you have a plan,” the video narrator said.
The video can be viewed by visiting Dhs.alabama.gov/activeshooter.aspx. PHS parents were given an opportunity to view the video previously, and were given the option to excuse their students from viewing it at school.
During the assemblies, PHS administrators and members of the Pelham Police Department will be on hand to detail the school’s safety plan and answer students’ questions, according to a letter recently sent home to PHS parents.
“We have policies and procedures in place at Pelham High School to deal with an emergency if one were to arise. We feel it necessary to help educate students on the appropriate action in a mall, movie theatre or other public setting,” read the letter. “We are not specifying or training students how to respond to an event. We are giving them an education on options that are recognized by law enforcement as giving them the best opportunity to survive.”