Surviving a School Shooting – A Seminar by the Dallas FBI

Sophie Daniel, Staff Writer

Inside the newly-renovated Sanctuary at Wynne Chapel, two men, the spitting image of federal agents-red ties, black suits, black coffees-prepare to give a seminar regarding School Shootings and Crisis Management. Senior Ashley Loy from El Paso, TX organized the event after attending a similar seminar prior to the El Paso shooting.

“You never think something like this could happen close to home.” -Ashley Loy, Senior

Ashley invited Agents Ed Englehardt and Mario Verna of the Dallas FBI to the school to prepare our community in case of a similar tragedy.

Englehardt is the Crisis Management Coordinator of the Dallas Critical Incident Response Team. He has previously worked in violent crime and public corruption. His portion or the presentation began with statistics regarding how often and where Active Shooter Incidents (ASIs) occur, as well as how they end. He warned students and faculty not to have the mindset of “it won’t happen here” that appears too often in close-knit communities.

34 out of the 52 ASIs since 1999 occurred in areas with a population of less than 100,000

Englehardt also defined for students the Run-Hide-Fight plan, explaining that having a plan in case of an ASI is critical to survival. Run-Hide-Fight is the simplest plan to remember during a crisis.

  1. Run:
    • If you can get out, do.
    • Encourage others to leave, and prevent others from going into harms way.
    • Once safe, call 911
  2. Hide: 
    • Hide quickly and quietly.
    • Turn off the lights and lock the door, barricade it if you can.
    • Don’t forget to silence your phone. Your friend sending you a Tik Tok should not give away your location.
  3. Fight:
    • Act with physical aggression, don’t second-guess yourself.
    • Improvise weapons. A fire extinguisher, a chair, and your keys can all be used against a threat.
    • Work together to disarm or injure the threat.

Verna is a manager of the Dallas Violent Crimes Squad which covers Active Shooter Incidents. As well as reiterating the importance of the Run-Hide-Fight Plan, Verna left students with more advice. 

Don’t play dead.

Verna explained that playing dead doesn’t work because it impedes your ability to run, hide, or fight.

I’m going home to: _______

Having something or someone to fight for encourages us to take action in a crisis situation; anger is more powerful than fear. Verna added that denial is not an option. If you think a crisis may be occurring, it’s possible that you’re the first person to notice. Do not wait for someone else to give permission. Act first, second-guess when you’re safe.

Remember the plan; run, hide, and fight for your life.