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Parkland teacher: school ignored suggestions from threat assessment

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posted on Apr, 3 2018 @ 02:19 PM
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I know some people are going to whine about the source, but that's okay. That's a logical fallacy known as the Genetic Fallacy, where you can't refute anything that's actually being said so you dismiss it because you don't like the source.

I will follow that up with the disclaimer that all of this information is coming from an anonymous interview with someone who claims to be a teacher at Parkland. The reason for remaining anonymous is fairly obvious. I've heard the school was asked for comment and provided none, probably busy trying to figure out who the teacher is so they can railroad them.

Article

Essentially they had a professional come in and do a threat assessment on the school and they failed miserably, as a lot of schools probably would. He made a number of specific recommendations to the school about how to strengthen their security, many of which were simple procedural changes that wouldn't even cost any money. Most of his recommendations weren't followed.


“This threat assessment was done by a retired Secret Service agent and it was known that he was going to do this assessment by the Safety Committee but that no one else at Stoneman Douglas would be aware of it including administration except for that one administrator on the committee,” the staffer said.


I do have a bit of an issue with this part:


The teacher continued, “The Secret Service agent came in. He parked in the front of the school for 20 minutes. He was never approached by anyone. He gained entry to the campus never being stopped by anyone at any time and put post-its on 21 random people.”


That part is obviously done for shock effect. If it were a real active shooter situation, after the first shot people nearby would have been aware and wouldn't just be standing around waiting to get shot or tagged with post-its. This is a compromise between wanting the assessment to be completely random, without anyone knowing ahead of time, like a real shooting would be, but not wanting to scare the kids by him coming in with simulated gunshots to get a more accurate reaction. So the number of people he was able to tag is kind of a useless detail. His assessment with their awful security is still spot on. This one is glaringly obvious, you don't need a former Secret Service agent to tell you this:


“The number one thing he said is we needed to reinforce the various entrances to the school. Make sure the gates are locked at all times and that anyone trying to get onto campus should be checked in by someone. Don’t just leave open gates,” the faculty member said.


This is the most damning one to me:


“Secondly regarding fire alarms as it is at Stoneman Douglas when a fire alarm goes off everyone is told to exit the building immediately and the former Secret Service agent said No. Why go from a known which is a secure classroom environment to an unknown when you’re evacuating you are far along you going into an unknown situation.”

The former agent suggested that when a fire alarm goes off, instead of evacuating everyone immediately, an individual should be sent to the location of the fire alarms origination to investigate what’s going on prior to any evacuation.

“So that is a recommendation that was made and during this mass shooting at Stoneman Douglas the fire alarm went off, kids evacuated and staff immediately and people were shot in the hall by the shooter. So, if that one recommendation were implemented, lives would have been saved and it wasn’t,” said the faculty source.


Obviously if that suggestion had been implemented, lives could've been saved. On the other hand, in the event of a real fire, that wasted time could cause additional casualties. So perhaps a compromise procedure could be to train the students that if they are in class when a fire alarm goes off, they don't immediately exit, but first the teacher goes to the door and checks the hallway to make sure it's clear. This short delay won't really cost you much time getting out in case of a fire. And let's be honest, by the time the kids get up and grab a few things as we all know they're going to do, the teacher already could have accomplished this step, so it realistically wouldn't cost you much time, if any at all.

There are a number of other recommendations he made, most of which would be simple and virtually costless to follow. The only excuse I could see is that this was just done in December and the shooting happened in February. But as I said, most of these changes were simple procedural changes that could be implemented immediately. They didn't cost money, nothing had to be built or renovated, no equipment had to be bought. I really don't see any excuse.

ETA: Even after the shooting they didn't secure the place. The shooter's brother, who was banned from campus, was able to get in no problem.
edit on 3 4 18 by face23785 because: (no reason given)




posted on Apr, 3 2018 @ 02:28 PM
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They're saying to ignore fire alarms until they've been confirmed, as a safety precaution?


I mean, I won't disagree- if the alarm goes off in my house I'm not just going to flee- I'm going to investigate... but that goes against everything we've been taught for how fire alarms work.



posted on Apr, 3 2018 @ 02:43 PM
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originally posted by: lordcomac
They're saying to ignore fire alarms until they've been confirmed, as a safety precaution?


I mean, I won't disagree- if the alarm goes off in my house I'm not just going to flee- I'm going to investigate... but that goes against everything we've been taught for how fire alarms work.


I did address that in the OP. The idea is that if the alarm is a diversion for an active shooter you don't want kids just running out into the hall and getting shot, which is precisely what happened at Parkland. On the other hand, it can be dangerous in a fire to not evacuate immediately. In the OP, I suggested a compromise where you at least have the teacher open the door to the class and check the hall to make sure it's safe for the students to evacuate, which will only cost a few seconds, if any.

It's actually a much bigger danger in a house fire to delay before you evacuate, because house fires spread so fast and you usually only have one or two easily usable exits from your house. In a school, which a lot of them are brick and concrete, fires don't spread as fast. You also have many alternate exits. You can even go out the classroom windows if the hallway was impassable. You could coordinate with the local fire department to get their input, but I'd bet they'd tell you a slight delay while the teacher checks the hall wouldn't make an appreciable difference.



posted on Apr, 3 2018 @ 02:48 PM
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a reply to: face23785


The teacher continued, “The Secret Service agent came in. He parked in the front of the school for 20 minutes. He was never approached by anyone. He gained entry to the campus never being stopped by anyone at any time and put post-its on 21 random people.”

Because he 'blended', like the next shooter will do. Come as a cop, or security guard, or substitute teachers, how about a janitor? A janitor has this whole cart on wheels to push around.


Its impossible to make schools safe everywhere from everything...



posted on Apr, 3 2018 @ 02:53 PM
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a reply to: face23785


In the OP, I suggested a compromise where you at least have the teacher open the door to the class and check the hall to make sure it's safe for the students to evacuate, which will only cost a few seconds, if any.

Feel the door with your palm first.

In a fire.

In an 'active shooter' scenario, don't open the door, you might draw the shooters attention.
When emergency responders arrive they will come in to 'clear' the room.



posted on Apr, 3 2018 @ 03:41 PM
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originally posted by: intrptr
a reply to: face23785


The teacher continued, “The Secret Service agent came in. He parked in the front of the school for 20 minutes. He was never approached by anyone. He gained entry to the campus never being stopped by anyone at any time and put post-its on 21 random people.”

Because he 'blended', like the next shooter will do. Come as a cop, or security guard, or substitute teachers, how about a janitor? A janitor has this whole cart on wheels to push around.


Its impossible to make schools safe everywhere from everything...


You missed the point. Once he fired the first shot, or in this case slapped the first sticky on someone, he'd no longer be blending. But no one knew why he was going around putting stickies on people, so no one was taking cover or trying to exit the school or anything. So it wasn't a true simulation of how many people he could have taken out. However, like I said in the OP the specific number of people he was able to "kill" was far from the point.


originally posted by: intrptr
a reply to: face23785


In the OP, I suggested a compromise where you at least have the teacher open the door to the class and check the hall to make sure it's safe for the students to evacuate, which will only cost a few seconds, if any.

Feel the door with your palm first.

In a fire.

In an 'active shooter' scenario, don't open the door, you might draw the shooters attention.
When emergency responders arrive they will come in to 'clear' the room.


Again, you've completely missed the point. The recommendation that was made about staying in the classroom until the fire alarm is confirmed was in case it was a diversion by a would-be shooter to get people to run out into the halls. I suggested that's too long to wait in case it's an actual fire, so an alternative would be for the teacher to open the door and check the hall before allowing students to attempt to exit the building. At that point, the teacher would have no idea whether it was a real fire or a ruse by a would-be shooter.

If there's already been shots and they sounded nearby, of course the safest thing to do is try to shelter inside the classroom, barricade the door etc. It really just depends on the particular scenario, which is why schools need to start taking this things more seriously, giving teachers much more comprehensive training, and implementing more practical security measures.



posted on Apr, 4 2018 @ 06:30 AM
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a reply to: face23785


You missed the point. Once he fired the first shot, or in this case slapped the first sticky on someone, he'd no longer be blending.

Lol, did the Post it go BANG! when he stuck it on kids? Did he use an assault looking post it dispenser with a 40 round magazine?

Get real, a well dressed man with post-its wandering the halls is hardly the same thing. But I get the whole ex-federal agent thing promoting a totalitarian authoritarian learning environment for your kids.

Might as well move the kids into prisons with guard towers and concertina razor wired electric fences.



posted on Apr, 4 2018 @ 10:52 AM
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originally posted by: intrptr
a reply to: face23785


You missed the point. Once he fired the first shot, or in this case slapped the first sticky on someone, he'd no longer be blending.

Lol, did the Post it go BANG! when he stuck it on kids? Did he use an assault looking post it dispenser with a 40 round magazine?

Get real, a well dressed man with post-its wandering the halls is hardly the same thing.


That's actually the entire thing I explained to you. I also explained it in the OP. I don't know why I bother, nobody reads anymore.



posted on Apr, 4 2018 @ 11:01 AM
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a reply to: face23785

Okay, sorry, I should read more. Thanks for reminding me.


That part is obviously done for shock effect. If it were a real active shooter situation, after the first shot people nearby would have been aware and wouldn't just be standing around waiting to get shot or tagged with post-its.



posted on Apr, 4 2018 @ 11:02 AM
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Is this where the rumors of the secret service visiting MSD HS came from?
The lead up and response to the shooting remind me of 9/11.
Warnings went unheeded, actions weren't taken - as if it were allowed to happen.



posted on Apr, 4 2018 @ 11:06 AM
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originally posted by: lordcomac
They're saying to ignore fire alarms until they've been confirmed, as a safety precaution?


I mean, I won't disagree- if the alarm goes off in my house I'm not just going to flee- I'm going to investigate... but that goes against everything we've been taught for how fire alarms work.


When there's a campus with almost a dozen buildings even if there was a fire it would likely only be 1 building that was a danger. I think the suggestion was a sensible one.



posted on Apr, 4 2018 @ 11:10 AM
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If the facility was properly locked and strangers couldn't come in, the fire alarm would not be an issue. I work in an office tower and you can't get past the lobby unless you have the right credentials. I can't understand why a school can't manage that.

Also, where I work, a fire alarm (if set off by detecting heat or smoke), it rings on the floor it was detected, one floor above and one below. That allows for an orderly evacuation. Same could be said for a school. If the alarm goes off in one wing or floor, you don't have to do a mass exit.

What's really creepy is the evaluation is almost like a precursor to the shooting as if it was an assessment to see what one could get away with. But, that can't be.



posted on Apr, 4 2018 @ 11:49 AM
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originally posted by: LogicalGraphitti
If the facility was properly locked and strangers couldn't come in, the fire alarm would not be an issue. I work in an office tower and you can't get past the lobby unless you have the right credentials. I can't understand why a school can't manage that.

Also, where I work, a fire alarm (if set off by detecting heat or smoke), it rings on the floor it was detected, one floor above and one below. That allows for an orderly evacuation. Same could be said for a school. If the alarm goes off in one wing or floor, you don't have to do a mass exit.

What's really creepy is the evaluation is almost like a precursor to the shooting as if it was an assessment to see what one could get away with. But, that can't be.


Unless the shooter finds an alternate entrance. Given the shooter was a former student, he probably knew multiple ways into the building. A school is a pretty unsecure location. All the classrooms have windows. He doesn't even have to enter, you could walk along an exterior wall firing into the classrooms. If you wanted to enter, you could climb through one of the windows you shot out. No amount of security will replace an armed response. Anything you can dream up, an enthusiastic mass killer can figure out a way around. They often plan these things for a long time.

That doesn't mean I think we should just leave schools wide open. The extra security measures may act as a deterrant and force him to pick another target. Unless he's determined to attack that particular target due to personal reasons, which would appear to be the case here. Bottom line, physical security measures may deter or slow down the shooter, but the procedures during a mass shooting are the most likely things to save lives. And the easiest/cheapest things to implement in many cases. There's simply no excuse.



posted on Apr, 4 2018 @ 11:58 AM
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a reply to: lordcomac

why dont they use two different kind of alarms one for the fire which should switch on automatically because of the smoke detectors and the other one should be switched on manually for these kinds of situations



posted on Apr, 4 2018 @ 04:14 PM
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originally posted by: Dr UAE
a reply to: lordcomac

why dont they use two different kind of alarms one for the fire which should switch on automatically because of the smoke detectors and the other one should be switched on manually for these kinds of situations


You're misunderstanding. The fire alarm isn't pulled to alert people there's an active shooter. The fire alarm was pulled by the shooter to get people to run out into the halls where they'd make easier targets for him.

During the threat assessment, it was recommended that they wait until the alarm is confirmed to be a fire. The idea here is that, when you hear a fire alarm, not to just run out into the halls immediately in case it's a setup by a shooter. However, that could cost precious time in getting everyone out of the building in case of an actual fire. I suggested a compromise would be for the teacher to just check the hall first and make sure it's safe before letting the students run out there.

The school was told that they should have a separate warning to be announced over the intercom in case of active shooter, but according to this teacher, it wasn't used.




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