No one can imagine the horror, chaos and tragedy that come with active shooter situations in our schools.

And no one wants to imagine them.

We would all prefer that these events didn’t happen, that we didn’t have to contemplate how we would react to the unimaginable taking place around us.

But we have all seen far too many times that these events do happen and that they claim the lives of the innocent before they are brought to a close.

So as difficult as it is to think of these things happening, our school and emergency workers have to confront the possibility that they could take place. And they have to prepare for what they could have to do in such an event.

Law enforcement officers, firefighters and emergency medical workers got together at South Terrebonne High with teachers earlier this week to help them conceive of the issues they could one day face.

“Hopefully we never have to deal with the situation, but being prepared will be key,” said Michelle Giroir, a teacher at Acadian Elementary who took part in the training exercise.

Officials involved in this vital effort say they have seen at least 2,000 teachers take part.

Ideally, of course, they will never be confronted with these life-threatening situations. Ideally, no one will be.

We know all too well, though, that they do happen. As Giroir said, there is only so much a teacher or other school worker can do to prevent an attack. But there are steps they can take to prepare for one.

And there are some steps everyone in and around schools can take to lessen the chances of a shooter taking lives.

The organizers urged participants to maintain vigilance, to watch out for what students or visitors to the schools could be thinking or saying.

If they see something that appears suspicious, they can alert the proper authorities.

“The first line of defense in this is not our police officers,” said Terrebonne Sheriff’s Capt. Timothy Soignet. “It’s our educators.”

That is a huge responsibility that comes on top of their primary job, which is educating our children. But it is a responsibility that can save lives.

It is particularly effective when teachers and others have gone through drills such as these and are at least partially prepared for the unthinkable.


Editorials represent the opinion of the newspaper, not of any individual.