Dear Kid Readers: Listen Up: You Need to See the Reality of Serious School Safety

For those of you who have witnessed active shooter drills, you know what I’m talking about.

It usually involves all sorts of gunshots, sirens, panic, waiting on the scene until authorities get there to clear the room and make sure it’s safe to be there.

You hear things like, “Don’t fall, don’t move, don’t make a sound” while waiting and wait and wait.

A non-gun owner might think it’s weird that the person is standing here, pointing a gun. They might even say the person is pretty creepy.

But let’s look at this a little bit differently.

Gun suicides are killing more people than all murders combined in the United States.

Other causes are suicides with drugs, drugs against the drugs, strangling people, strangling babies, doing things against the will of people who are alive.

Whatever the reason, active shooter drills are helping everyone stay alive and get better in the aftermath.

A week ago, I went to Newtown, Connecticut to see what Newtown is doing to try to stop gun violence.

I got to see the trauma counselors working there, and the kids that are seeing trauma counselors.

One of the kids we met is Sawyer Kopas, who has Asperger’s Syndrome. His autistic side looks like he doesn’t know what to do with it. He isn’t the kind of kid that would be caught up in something like an active shooter shooting or even an armed confrontation. But it made the whole thing more real for him.

“It’s a very tough situation for us,” explains his mom, Dea Kopas.

The program teaches kids like Sawyer who aren’t mature enough for advanced versions of the classroom, how to be safe in an active shooter situation.

The kids learn to find open spaces, to figure out what happens when the shooter’s in the area. It gives Sawyer a better sense of what’s actually going on out there in the school.

He’s seen it firsthand at Sandy Hook and Sandy Hook Elementary where more than 30 students, teachers and school staff were killed. He said to us, “Once the police came in, it was extremely scary and when we found out more about what happened I was able to recognize that.”

It took the kids in the program two weeks to get comfortable with the rules in place.

Sandy Hook Academy started just a year ago. They have 65 students, and though their names are not, the school has been compared to the schools where the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting happened.

The kids in Sandy Hook are building safety and security systems into their lives and, guess what? Their test scores have gone up since they started the program.

That’s because a year ago, they had never been out of their typical school. Now, they go to a safer place that they know would protect them.

You’re now better prepared for active shooter situations.

You’re knowing what to do when you see a shooter. You’re knowing where to go if there’s an active shooter situation.

There are plenty of other active shooter drills out there, and I know that that’s a safe program to learn from.

It takes a little courage to come out and talk to people who think you’re nuts. Just look at all of the people who have been through active shooter events.

There have been 40 of them since the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting.

The individuals will be going back to work at schools soon.

But, unfortunately, some of them may not be at the same school anymore.

The Sandy Hook curriculum is showing results right now.

They have proof. That’s why they have invested so much in Sandy Hook Academy.

From the outside, Sandy Hook looked as though it needed to be blown up.

But look at what’s come out of it.

The counseling programs are helping kids who once could never expect to be in a meeting with me.

Kids like Sawyer, who were just absolutely terrified.

Now they’re talking about it like it’s part of life.

Sometimes, that’s what you have to do in order to make things better.

It’s just not good to fight on the inside.

Rebekah Graham is a reporter for Fox News Channel’s (FNC) Outnumbered and a writer for The Daily Caller. She is based in Washington, D.C.

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