By Bella Kok
Since the school shooting in Parkland, Florida, Rose State has taken measures to ensure the safety of staff, students and visitors. The school hosted a Keeping Our School Safe panel in March. This panel discussed the steps that would be taken in an emergency situation, including an active shooter on campus. In addition to the panel held March 1, an active shooter demonstration will take place on campus from 8:30-8:45 a.m. April 12. The demonstration will be a collaborative effort between the Midwest City Police Department, Rose State campus security and Rose State theatre students.
While the event will take place in the Student Center, the entire campus will participate in the drill. All classes and offices on campus will be placed on lockdown. According to a campus-wide email, students who do not have an 8 a.m. class should avoid campus until 9 a.m. because roads will be blocked and students will not have access to any services in the Learning Resources Center or Testing Center.
In recent years, most well-known school shootings, including Columbine, Sandy Hook and Parkland all occurred at primary and secondary schools, rather than postsecondary institutions like Rose State. However, in the past five years there have been 36 school shootings on college campuses across the United States.
“Regardless of the numbers, the Rose State College Administration treats the potential of school shootings as relevant and a threat to the safety of our students and faculty,” said Richard Andrews, the senior director of Rose State campus operations. “As such we proactively prepare and train for that possible scenario.”
For the past several years, the Midwest City Police Department has helped Rose State prepare for the worst.
“We plan for the worst and hope for the best. Schools have drills for a tornado, they have fire drills; unfortunately, now they need to have active shooter drills,” Lt. Roger Ross of the Midwest City Police Department explained. “You have these drills for several reasons, one of which is so people realize what to expect when the police arrive on scene; other reasons might be to prepare their minds of what they might see, hear, smell; the different emotions they might experience. And especially so the people will have some kind of plan in place in attempts to survive these incidents.”
Ross advised students, faculty and staff to notify the authorities if they see something strange.
“If they hear that someone is going to do something or is planning something, call the police. If they see anything on social media that would indicate something is going to happen, screenshot it, and call the police,” he said.
For more information on how to prepare for an active shooter drill or event, read the Rose State College emergency management document. Sign up for Raider Alerts that provide campus emergency notifications.