Florida Shooting: How To Teach Your Children To Survive A School Shooting

The recent mass shooting, at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Coral Springs, Florida has brought the issue of mass shootings and the gun control debate to the forefront once again.

As usual, Democrats and other liberals are blaming the gun and calling for stricter gun control laws, blaming Republicans and the NRA for “pulling the trigger” on the shooter’s gun by standing against their “common sense gun legislation.”

Of course, liberals are ignoring the real issue, which is a mental health one. But that doesn’t fit their narrative, which now includes the bold ascertainment that there have been 18 school shootings so far this year. But to get that number, one has to be a little loose with the facts.

  • Two of those were suicides
  • Three were personal disagreements
  • One was an accidental discharge
  • Eight didn’t involve any injury or fatality

Which leaves us with four actual school shootings. While that’s still four too many, it’s better than the 18 that Michael Bloomberg’s Everytown for Gun Safety has come up with and the left-wing media is touting. A little honesty on their part would be refreshing.

But once again, we’re faced with the fact that way too many of these happen at schools, which are selected as targets primarily because they are gun-free zones. Over 98% of these shootings happen in gun-free zones, especially schools.

Something else that seems to be a factor in this case, as well as many others, is that the suspected shooter had been a student at the school, but had been expelled from it. So there is a revenge element to this shooting as well.

The Shooters

Over and over again we see that these mass shooters all fit a similar profile; that of mentally disturbed loners. They commit their acts as a sort of revenge on society for pushing them to the sidelines and ignoring them. Yet, for some reason, we never seem to learn from that mistake.

Another mass shooting happens, the same observations are made about the shooter, and nothing is done any differently.

This is the first place you should teach your children. Everyone knows “the weird kid that they see at school,” often referred to as a “loner.” Yet nobody reports them. Yet this is the first step in putting a stop to future incidents.

School children need to report those kids; especially reporting any strange conversations with those kids and any fascination they have with weapons, killing and blood. If a child that fits this profile seems fascinated with other mass-shooting cases, you can be fairly sure that they are on the road towards becoming the next shooter.

These shootings are typically exquisitely planned, with the shooters often spending as much as a year in the planning of their crimes. Due to the long planning time, it is highly likely that they will say something suspicious during that time.

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All it takes is someone who pays attention to what they say to prevent one of these shootings from happening.

Ask your children about these kids and tell them to report such activity to school officials and to school resource officers (police stationed on campus). They should also report it to you, as their parent, so that you can demand the school have the suspect child evaluated.

Dealing with the underlying mental-health issues is ultimately the best solution to these problems.

School Security

In my opinion, even one such incident is unacceptable. If we, as adults, can’t protect our children, there’s something fundamentally wrong with our society. The methods that we, as a society, have employed to this point aren’t working.

I have yet to hear of one case where metal detectors and “no tolerance policies” have stopped a school shooting. So what makes anyone think that increasing those methods will stop these shootings from happening?

Statistically, all that tighter gun control does is ensure that people can’t defend themselves. Teachers in Israel are regularly armed and they don’t have this problem. Does that mean that arming our teachers will guarantee a stop to school shootings?

Of course not. But it will put people in the schools that are armed, trained and ready to respond to the shooter, faster than the police can get there.

Some school districts have moved to allowing teachers and administrators to carry concealed, with the proper training and licensing. This hasn’t been going on long enough or widespread enough to develop any statistical evidence as to how effective it has been, but it is a deterrent.

These murderers choose schools for a reason; they’re gun-free zones; so taking that reason away from them is clearly a deterrent. We may never see statistical data to prove that, but that doesn’t mean that the deterrent doesn’t exist.

Speaking of armed people in the schools, it has been recommended that unemployed vets be hired to act as armed guards for our schools. That’s an excellent idea, as they are not only trained for this sort of responsibility, but by and large have the moral courage and sense of responsibility to put their live on the line to protect our kids.

In addition to that, schools need to have a readily available means to lock classroom doors from the inside. A number of different devices have been developed for this very purpose in the last few years. While they all create the hazard of not allowing anyone to escape the room, they do help to keep the shooter out.

That’s enough to protect our children from becoming targets.

I need to note here that many security specialist are against the idea of such locks. They have three basic arguments against them:

  • The shooter could lock themselves in the classroom, locking the children in with them.
  • Police can’t get through the door to clear the room or deal with a shooter locked in the room.
  • Children can’t escape in case of fire.

Even so, if my children were still in school and our schools didn’t have these in place, I would be working to raise enough money, through the PTA, to buy them for the school. Ultimately that would be easier than trying to get the school to come up with the budget money for it, and it would probably also be cheaper.

Better yet, installing an electronic lock system throughout the school, which would allow the school to go into lockdown mode, while still allowing police and other officials to gain access to rooms should be installed.

However, that would be a much more expensive solution to the problem.

How Can Your Children Protect Themselves?

It is the school’s responsibility to protect your child while they are at school. Most schools take this responsibility seriously. However, they tend to think along certain lines; might I say, liberal lines of thought.

This focuses on allowing the police or armed campus resource officers the opportunity to apprehend the shooter and protect the children.

That might sound good to some, but in a large school it can take time to find an active shooter. Running to the sound of the guns isn’t as easy as one might think, especially indoors.

The sound will ricochet around the building, leading police on many false leads as they seek out the shooter.

In the mean time, the shooter is taking shots at students and teachers, trying to rack up a body count. It is that time you need to be concerned about, and what your children can do during those terrifying minutes.

There are three basic actions one can take in dealing with an active shooter:

  • Flee
  • Hide
  • Fight

Your child’s ability to do any of these is going to be severely hampered by the school’s emergency policy and procedures. They will be expected to obey their teacher, who will be trained in the school’s policies.

Let me say something a bit controversial here. Your child’s responsibility to protect themselves supersedes their responsibility to obey their teacher. In other words, if you train them properly and they see an opportunity to do something that will increase their chance of survival, they should do it, regardless of what the teacher says.

Just make sure you train them well, before giving them permission to do that.


If possible, fleeing the scene is probably the number one means of protecting yourself from an active shooter. However, before fleeing, it is important that your child determine where the shooter is, so that they can make a rational decision as to where to flee.

Just running is worthless and may very well make them a target. Running away from the area where the shooter is operating can protect them.

Any time someone runs from an active shooter, they must make sure that they run in a way that does not make them a good target. It is extremely easy to shoot someone who is running directly away from you.

But it is hard to shoot someone who is crossing your line of sight or who is zig-zagging irregularly.

The school policy will probably dictate that the students shelter in place, so this is one time that your child would have to disobey their teacher, in order to protect themselves. You, as the parent, need to back up that decision and protect them from any disciplinary action, regardless of whether they are right or wrong.

You are entrusting them to make a decision for their safety, so you have to stand behind that decision. Otherwise, don’t give them that authority.


The school’s policy will probably dictate that the children are to shelter in place. The problem with this is that there are very few places in a school, which will provide adequate cover from flying bullets. Even cinder block walls will do little to stop a rifle bullet, and higher caliber pistol bullets can go through them as well.

Furniture won’t do anything, even steel furniture.

The idea behind hiding is to not present yourself as a target to the shooter. This has value, in and of itself, as long as your child is hiding in someplace unexpected.

These shooters want to see their victims die, so they are unlikely to shoot through a closet door, on the off chance that there is someone hiding in the closet.


For those of us who carry concealed, this is the obvious solution. However, our children are not allowed to go to school armed. So, except in some universities, they are denied the basic right of self-defense.

Nevertheless, there is a possibility of fighting back. It’s risky, but then, sitting there waiting to get shot is risky too. What I’m referring to is a number of students charging the shooter and tackling them to the ground. In such a case, the shooter will probably be able to get a few rounds off, injuring or even killing some of the attackers.

But it is doubtful they could kill everyone. So, in the end, the good guys would win.

Please note that this is a risky move. For that reason, I’d never recommend that the football squad try to seek out the killer and tackle them. However, if the shooter happened to go into the locker room to kill the football team, they should definitely put their skills to use.

Body Armor

There is one other thing your children can do to protect themselves and I highly recommend it. That is for you to buy them a ballistic insert for their backpack and make them carry it every day. These come in a variety of sizes and shapes, to fit a variety of different backpacks.

You can buy most for under $130.

Most of these ballistic plates are rated at a level III-A protection level. This means that they will stop all pistol rounds, with the exception of the FN 5.7. They will not stop rifle rounds though. Be sure your child understands this. You don’t want them trying to play the hero, thinking they are invincible.

In the case of an attack, your child should put their backpack on backwards, so that it is over their chest. They will most likely be facing the shooter, so this puts he ballistic plate where it offers the best protection. If they run, they should put their pack on their back, as they are more likely to be shot from behind.

Paper also makes fairly effective body armor against most pistol rounds as well. So if your child doesn’t have a ballistic plate in their backpack, but has a bunch of books in it, they should still put it on. While there is no guarantee that it will stop the bullet, there is a possibility that it will.

Written by

Bill White is the author of Conquering the Coming Collapse, and a former Army officer, manufacturing engineer and business manager. More recently, he left the business world to work as a cross-cultural missionary on the Mexico border. Bill has been a survivalist since the 1970s, when the nation was in the latter days of the Cold War. He had determined to head into the Colorado Rockies, should Washington ever decide to push the button. While those days have passed, the knowledge Bill gained during that time hasn’t. He now works to educate others on the risks that exist in our society and how to prepare to meet them. You can send Bill a message at editor [at] survivopedia.com.

Latest comments
  • Just take your kid out of the school system. State schools are an 18th and 19th century concept about education to produce passive, submissive and obedient citizens. Educate your kids on line and watch them leave the rest behind.

    You don’t heat your house with camel dung do you?. You don’t communicate with smoke signals or pony express, do you?

    Education is way too valuable to be a duty of the state. Take back your responsibility and you will be rewarded in time.

  • Check your figures, there were only 6 school SHOOTINGS, which is bad enough. Everytown for gun SAFETY group cast a very wide net for their figures, get rid of the hype.

  • Sad to have to address this issue, but we do. I think preliminary findings show that locks on doors prevented the shooter from targeting these sites. Just as in home gun safes, electronic locks are dangerous. They depend on viable electricity and connections to perform. Mechanical locks with external buttons and interior latches would allow access from outside from
    authorities. The fox in the hen House is the number of entrances to buildings. We do not see shootings behind secure check points if there is no other access. In the Terrorist Age, how can we allow free access to schools to anyone. If entrance to a school is not monotored, there will never be enough protection to cover a school. It is a profound and perplexing problem to inflow hoards of students each day yet restrict access to others. Security checkpoints mirroring airports would require students arrive 1 1/2 hours early to attend school. Clearly unacceptable. And how many teachers would undergo the degree of training necessary to carry a weapon and be able to use it appropriately for that 1 in a million chance. Very few, very few..
    We need the best security minds in the country to assemble and confront this pressing issue. When I think of security, I think of Israel. They confront this maddness every day. They have had to develop methods and mechanisms to live a relatively normal life in a constant line of fire. Bring in the IDF and seals to address this issue today, before another madman strikes. Tomorrow is To Late.!

    • Tom,
      Why do you think it would be so hard to train a teacher in the use of a firearm? we can train an 18 year old kid to be proficient in the use of firearms in the military in less than 8 weeks (not all of that time is spent on a firing range) in basic training. Quite a few teachers are also former military veterans with weapons training.
      BTW, how many school shooters are actually weapons trained before they became mass murderers? they seem to be able to hit quite a few targets. i wonder if they would hit as many if the targets were shooting back .

      • Rich,
        Probably because the majority of teachers are hardcore leftists with a pathological fear of guns.

        As for shooter skills, they don’t have to be skilled. They pick fish-in-a-barrel targets, like filled hallways, theaters, concerts, etc.. They don’t have to aim — just spray the crowd. They never intend precise aim.

  • The mental health issue is certainly a big one, but it is not even close to the only one. This particular shooter was known to many fellow students, as a significant risk. Also, he had social media content displaying cruelty to animals, and a disturbing fascination with weapons. So the even bigger issue is, “why the heck was this risk not addressed by fbi, police, faculty?” I’ve also seen accounts that he stole peoples mail, and talked about shooting at the school. this is a major failure of the system, much more so than any gun control dem’s can dream up. heck, if he had been made to suffer the consequences of his actions, perhapps he would not have been allowed to purchase or have a firearm.

    Once again, the answer isn’t more gun control. it’s common sense of an entirely different and completely true nature.

  • Over the years, I have made an interesting observation. All of the mass shootings around our country have either been done by Registered Democrats, Progressives or those who sympathize with the leftist cause. Why is that? Do conservatives care more for you, our fellow citizens, than you do for us? Are we more tolerant of others’ beliefs? Are we able to control our anger better? Remember last year how democrats rioted when Trump was elected? Why is it Democrats feel it is their right to riot so often? Babies have temper tantrums, is that their excuse? You never saw Republicans rioting when Obama was elected. I was not happy with the results of the election, but we took it in stride. Why is it that when democrats talk about Gun Control, it is only the democrats who are the abusers of those guns? That is why we resist your attempts to delete the Second Amendment. Conservatives and NRA members have never been involved in any shootings! Never! And as Paul Harvey would say, here’s the rest of the story; The common denominator is that Democrats have lost respect for God, our Country and themselves!
    I’d like to propose a law prohibiting all democrats from owning guns unless they take and pass a very comprehensive conceal Carry course and that they pass a comprehensive profile similar to what the Israelis use.

    • Might want to check your facts. You paint with a very broad brush and the facts do not necessarily line up. there are probably almost as many halfway decent leftists as Republicans, though I hate to admit it.

  • I AM A FIRST GRADE TEACHER WHOSE ROOM IS THE SECOND TO THE END GLASS DOOR entrance. I am very concerned about “shooters”. My room would be one of the first to get hit. Our school has a glass window from the hallway so that administrators can see in and glass window on the opposite wall where we can see outside. The locks are DESIGNED so that they lock with a key from the outside, but……there’s no place to send my kids for safety should someone shoot out the glass.

    I know that there are six year olds already talking about/looking at /imitating shooting. Some of this, I blame on the parent. Why are you letting your six year old play the gory games? Why are you allowing your six year old to watch scary movies like “it”? They come to school talking about ‘pennywise’ and what he does to them? That is not being a responsible parent, in my opinion.

    My students know to listen to me. I love them and will gladly take a bullet for them, but i don’t think that should be necessary. I am one of those that believe if teachers were allowed to ‘conceal carry’ there might not be as much bloodshed. I said i would take a bullet, but I didn’t say I wanted to.

  • I am a teacher. I have tried to train using a gun, I freeze. I love kids and life. I have no business providing security. I would give my life for my students but to take another life, Again, I freeze. one of the instructors told me if I ‘was not committed to shooting and killing a shooter, don’t even bother.’ I was trained to teach, not kill. If you care about these children and truly want to protect them, stop trying to save money by training teachers and pay for real security Personnel.