WICHITA, Kan. (KAKE) – “It’s terrifying. Like, I never want to be in that situation. I’m lucky I never was,” said WSU student Gillian Sickendick.
It’s something no student should ever think about, but in the wake of recent shootings like at Michigan State University this week, most students are asking: What would they do if someone walked in and opened fire?
“I would run and try and hide,” said WSU student AJ Baker.
“Probably your best bet is to try and hide. Just get out of sight,” Sickendick said.
“Try to stay safe, hang out with friends,” said WSU student Juan Carlosanayagomez.
WSU Police Captain Corey Herl says that, especially now, it’s always important to have a plan. But what has been the go-to advice for decades may not be the best idea now.
“It’s more of an active role to protect yourself by avoiding rather than running,” Herl said.
Herl says instead of “run, hide, fight”, now you should think “avoid, deny, defend”, because reacting only as a last resort might not be the best plan.
Herl says the Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training Center, or ALERRT, is the gold standard for what to do in life-threatening situations. This training video explains why you should be thinking about these three most active words.
“These are, avoid the attacker. Deny the attacker access to your area. Defend yourself. It’s a personal decision, but you have the right to do it,” a coach said in the video.
Herl says the reality is that these are situations we need to be prepared for, but students like Carlosanayagomez, Baker and Sickendick hope that changes soon.
I hope you don’t continue. I hope situations improve, like mental health and everything else” Carlosanayagomez said.
“I hope we can just keep it under wraps, just like a corporation,” Baker said.
“I hope we no longer have to teach kids how to react to these situations,” Sickendick said.
Herl says ALERRT has many resources and training that goes into much more detail, so if you’d like to find out more, click here.