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The Gatepost Editorial: Active shooter survival education should be mandatory

Leighah Beausoleil / THE GATEPOST

By The Gatepost Editorial Board

Last week, a gunman entered Michigan State University and then opened fire in a number of campus buildings.

As of press time, there were three fatalities - students Brian Fraser, Alexandria Verner, and Arielle Diamond Anderson. In addition, five students were critically injured.

The deaths of Fraser, Verner, and Anderson are tragic. Gun violence is something with which we as a society have become all too familiar.

According to a Feb. 20 New York Times article, there have been 80 mass shootings since Jan. 1.

In addition, this latest tragedy came only a day before the five-year anniversary of the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, which killed 17 students.

Although the ideal solution would be for Congress to enact stronger gun control laws that could prevent many of these tragic and traumatizing occurrences, with the current political climate, this appears unlikely.

Therefore, we must acknowledge that like any college or university in the country, FSU needs to be prepared for the possibility of an active shooter on our campus. Students need to know how to protect themselves if there were an active shooter situation on campus.

Needing to prepare for an active shooter situation on campus can be upsetting, but as proven by the mass shooting at Michigan State last week, it is necessary.

Fires don’t happen on this campus every day, but we still practice drills to ensure we are ready for them.

There are yellow emergency guides at the front of some classrooms discussing the protocols for various emergencies such as fires and crime scenes, but what good do these do when they are hanging on the wall?

The Framingham States website offers a free 45-minute online class students, faculty, and staff can take to help them recognize the best course of action in the event of an active shooter incident.

Unfortunately, this provided link has not been updated since 2015, is not specific to FSU, and is neither promoted nor required for campus community members. Additionally, there is a broken link on the website that is supposed to lead to a video on surviving an active shooter event. All that remains is a link to a PDF of a pocket card referencing the contents in the video.

The fact that a link to a video including such crucial information is broken indicates FSU is not making this issue a priority.

These resources need to be updated and better communicated to students.

Reviewing them should perhaps even be a requirement for students.

During orientation, students are required to attend a valuable session on consent. They are also required to take an online course on alcohol and drug safety.

There should also be a course teaching students how FSU handles an active shooter situation. Alternatively, a portion of time during orientation could be dedicated to teaching active shooter protocols and practicing drills.

Learning how to survive an active shooter incident is just as important as becoming educated about consent, alcohol, and drugs.

Teaching students these safety protocols when they first arrive at FSU will allow them to have the information and resources necessary to stay safe throughout their time here.

Their lives may depend on it.


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