A shooting in Van Nuys, California has left a confirmed two injuries at a local public charter school. CHAMPS Charter High School is on the 6800 block of Van Nuys Boulevard, a very busy part of the San Fernando Valley. The reported injuries so far include one teacher and one student.
The Los Angeles police department’s investigation is still underway, and the school was on lockdown for a few hours. The shooting is confirmed to have started at the Jack in the Box near the campus, and one suspect is in custody. One suspect remains at large.
A company headquartered to Los Angeles, AEGIS Security & Investigations encourages all schools in the region to seek active shooter training today for teachers, administrators, campus staff, and students. The number of shootings in schools, as well as other community centers and businesses, across the nation has increased. You, your children, your community — we all need to be able to respond to an active shooter situation appropriately to preserve life. #RunHideFight.
What is Run, Hide, Fight?
Run, Hide, Fight is exactly what it sounds like, and it is the best method to ensure your safety.
Whether an announcement is made by security or administration or you hear the actual gun shots, the first choice is run. If you can get out of range of the active shooter and to safety, do so immediately. Leave your personal items and find a safe place quickly and quietly. Such a space needs to be out of range of the gun fire and any other potential danger related to the active shooter situation. Once you are safe, help others by preventing them from going toward the the location of the shooter. Call 911 and give them as much information as possible: provide a description of the shooter, a location of the shooter, weapons they are using, if known, and the amount of ammunition that has been used, if known.
If you cannot run, you have to hide. Unlike a fire drill where you have to drop cover and hold, or an earthquake drill where you have to take cover under sturdy tables or desks, you need to find sturdy cover and concealment. A teacher reported today that she took this exact action. She hid 19 students in a closet to protect them from the shooter.
Remember: there is a difference between cover and concealment. If it’s not thick and sturdy made of durable material, chances are you can hide from the bullets, but you can’t stop them. Find a room, whether it is a closet, office, classroom, or break room, and lock and barricade the door. Go somewhere where you won’t be seen. Silence your cell phone and turn off the lights.
If you cannot run or hide and danger is imminent, you have to fight. Work with other people around you to attack from all sides. Improvise weapons and use whatever you can find to stab, slash, strike, or amplify your attack. Fight with everything you have. Do not stop until the attacker is neutralized.
When law enforcement officers arrive, they will not stop to help you or other victims. Their single task is to find and neutralize the active shooter. If you can walk out on your own, do so. They’ll point you in the right direction. Wait for other police officers outside in a safe place.
In addition to teaching run, hide, fight to students, teachers and other school staff, your campus should make efforts to prepare for and mitigate threats. When it comes to preparing your school for active shooter situations, there are several steps.
How do you prepare for active shooters in a school setting?
The simple answer is train and prepare your faculty, staff and administrators now. Prepare your campus for the worst case scenario.
Never in our nation’s history has it been more critical to focus on active shooter response training for students, teachers, campus administrators, and school communities. AEGIS Security & Investigations offers active shooter training programs specifically designed for schools. We look at what we do in our own active shooter training and evaluate elements to prevent future shootings in similar settings. We are an experienced security team that works closely with schools in the Los Angeles area to enhance their security tactics, especially those pertaining to active shooters. Getting your campus trained can make the difference between safe evacuation and loss of life.
Active Shooter Training for Schools
AEGIS Security & Investigations proudly offers active shooter training programs specifically designed for schools builds on “run, hide, fight,” the long-standing method of saving yourself in these events. Workshops run from an hour to several hours dependent on the needs of the organization and individuals. Our most highly sought after workplace violence training program is our one-hour plus add-on Run, Hide, Fight Live Fire Demo; participants begin with a lecture and basic training on how to handle the situation and are then exposed to sample scenarios in which they practice those same skills. The effectiveness of this scenario can be viewed when on CBS here.
Nearly 90 percent of California schools alone are ill-equipped and under-prepared for active shooter incidents, and we are vamping up our mission to educate students, teachers and administrators on the topic. Lack of funding combined with limited active shooter education has left K-12 public schools in California ill-prepared to handle such a situation. To read the full report: CLICK HERE. Don’t let your campu be one of the 90 percent. Seek active shooter training today.
Security Assessments for Schools
AEGIS has a time-tested model that has proven effective for numerous schools, places of worship, and private corporations to ensure their facilities are up to par with current security practices.
First, conduct a professional security audit that includes a full policy review. including emergency management, active shooter response, local law enforcement and medical response capabilities, training, policies and procedures, communication systems, adherence to safe schools regulations, anti-bullying initiatives, the school wide positive behavior support plan, memorandums of understanding, and mutual aid agreements.
Second, conduct a full vulnerability assessment of the physical property to include access control, screening, lighting, camera systems, the use of contractors, visibility, environmental factors, and targeting.
Third, conduct an analysis of each observation, assessing its individual characteristics and then classifying it for further action. Once the analysis is complete, countermeasures should be defined for each shortfall.
The fourth step would be penetration testing. This would be a real test of security arranged by the security consultant and administrators. This test is not designed to scare students or faculty but rather to determine vulnerabilities and readiness.
The final step in the initial process is education of school faculty and staff related to understanding the warning signs of various kinds of bullying as well as psychological disorders. Per the Office of Elementary and Secondary Education, when violence is witnessed, a correlation with decreased school attendance and academic performance is found across the board. Students who suffer from bullying and other forms of school-based violence tend to perform poorly, earning average grades of D and F. The only way we can begin to resolve school violence in the long term is with better recognition and treatment.
Active Shooter Prevention – Indicators of Campus Violence
Bullying is a top concern for our nation’s schools and is a leading cause for large-scale school violence such as active shooters. At AEGIS Security & Investigations, we develop active shooter training for school and education settings that focus on looking for key signs in individuals to prevent such situations. One of these key signs is being the victim of school bullying.
Bullying is comprised of actions that are meant to harm the victim physically and/or emotionally. This can include verbal and physical aggression aimed to minimize one’s self esteem and self worth. According the US Dept. of Health and Human Services, bullying not only impacts the individuals involved but those who witness it, hear about, know the victim, know the perpetrator — essentially, it affects everyone who has any type of contact with the bullying incident(s).
So, how do we stop it? The simple answer is to teach anti-bullying practices and have a zero-tolerance policy at all campuses for such behavior. Students, parents, and school staff should report bullying and maintain an open conversation about the topic to ensure no student suffers. For more, check out our research on the impact of bullying in schools and how to prevent bullying from worsening at your campus.
AEGIS Security & Investigations is a Los Angeles region company that is licensed and insured in the State of California to provide high-end armed and unarmed regular and temporary off-duty police officers, bodyguards, security officers, loss prevention agents, and event staff. Additionally, we offer services for private investigation, consultation, people locates, and background investigations. Our trainings and workshops in the field of security licensure and counter-terrorism have been featured in news media and are renowned for their efficacy. For more information or to contact us, visit www.aegis.com.
By: Chelsea Turner & Jeff Zisner