7 Classroom Defense Tips for Teachers


As mass shootings become more common, it becomes increasingly important for teachers to be proactive in preparing for an active shooter situation. Teachers can help defend their classrooms by implementing these simple yet vital defense tips.

How Can Teachers Help Defend Their Classroom?

Most schools have emergency lockdown procedures in place. In the event of an armed intruder the school office will probably notify authorities immediately while teachers and students lock themselves in their classrooms. However, it is equally important for the staff and faculty to be proactive in learning to defend themselves. Sitting in a dark classroom and hoping that the intruder passes by is not a good strategy.

It can be incredibly scary and stressful to think about these events. However, it is far better to do your homework now so that you are fully prepared to handle an emergency if one occurs. 

Important Defense Tips for Teachers

Remember: Reading a few safety and defense tips on the internet will not fully prepare you for an emergency situation. It is incredibly helpful to practice these tips in a simulated scenario. If you work in a classroom, gather the other teachers from your school and practice applying these tips together.

1. Be fully aware of your surroundings.

The very first rule of self-defense in any situation is to stay aware of your surroundings at all times. Doing this while teaching can be difficult at first, but becomes second-nature with daily practice.  As you go throughout your day, always be mindful of who is around your classroom and what their motives may be. If you notice a stranger loitering outside your classroom window or your classroom door, keep an eye on them. If you spot an object or an interaction that seems out-of-the-ordinary, report it.  It is always better to investigate a potential threat than to ignore it and hope for the best.

One of the best things about staying aware of your surroundings is that you can practice it anywhere! Whether you are in a classroom, parking lot, grocery store, or your own home, make a habit of scanning your surroundings and identifying potential threats.

2. Have a plan of action.

You must know how you intend to handle an emergency situation. Of course, knowing your school-wide emergency procedures comes first. However, you should also develop an action plan within your own classroom. Where will students gather to hide? Where will you go? How will you respond if a stranger enters your classroom? Creating an action plan ahead of time prevents you and your students from panicking in an emergency situation.

3. Turn your lights off.

Your school may specify this in its lockdown procedure, but it bears repeating. Turning off your lights is a simple yet effective way to hide yourself and your students.  A lit classroom is a visible classroom, which makes it much more appealing to an armed intruder. If you turn off the lights in your classroom, you have a bit of invisibility on your side, which gives you the upper hand in confronting anyone who enters.

4. Stay quiet & get into tactical position.

In an emergency situation, it is important to stay silent and to encourage your students to stay quiet as well. Once everyone is silent and hidden, assume a tactical position behind a door or wall that enables you to see and access an intruder before they see you.  Ideally, your position will allow you to approach an intruder from the side- not from the front.

5. Use heavy objects in the classroom.

Make a mental note of fire extinguishers, heavy books, aluminum water bottles, poles, bats, or anything else that can be used as a weapon. If there is an armed intruder on school premises, take at least one of these weapons with you to your tactical hiding place.

6. Use the element of surprise.

Generally speaking, an armed intruder expects to enter a classroom and find a group of students huddled in fear around their teacher. They are certainly not expecting a teacher to ambush them from a hidden tactical position and attack them with a heavy object. Be aware of this and use the element of surprise to your advantage. If the intruder is holding a firearm straight in front of them, approach them from the side and aim for the elbow with your weapon. If they are not, attack their head or face.  Using the element of surprise will give you the upper hand & will allow you to quickly and effectively strike the intruder.

7. Take a self-defense course.

Many organizations offer basic self-defense classes for every age & skill level.  You can even seek out self-defense classes specifically designed for teachers!  These classes will go more in-depth as to how you can protect yourself and your students. 

How Can LockOut USA Help?

The SmartBoot offers an audio and visual connection between authorized personnel and first responders even while the building is in lockdown. It is a simple mechanism that will trigger a lockdown of the entire facility, alert police, and school security, and give everyone peace of mind. The SmartBoot is an excellent option for those who deem school security as a priority.

If you have any further questions regarding school lockdowns, defense tips, or the LockOut SmartBoot System, do not hesitate to call us today. Your safety is our priority.

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