April 16, 2007 was a sad day for America. Thirty-three people lost their lives, fifteen people were injured and many hearts were broken. The Virginia Tech Massacre took us all by surprise. School is supposed to be safe. It is a place to learn, socialize, and grow. What is happening in our society? How could such a terrible thing take place? Why? These are questions you may have asked yourself. You may wonder what to do if you're ever confronted with a similar situation. How do you respond in an emergency? Are there any school safety tips to prevent such a tragedy? We're not suggesting you walk through life frightened, although we do want you to be smart and cautious. Most people tend to be good human beings, but we must remember that some people can be pressured by their own mental illness to do unthinkable things. Difficult situations, like bullying, or traumatic events can trigger such inhumane behaviors. We all need to be aware of the warning signs and school safety tips and procedures. School Safety Tips: Emergency Procedures Each school should have Emergency Procedures. If you are not sure what they are...ask! If your school does not yet have one in place, encourage them to do so. Here are a few common school safety tips taken from the Minnesota Department of Public Safety: Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management. 1. Make an announcement. Be direct to eliminate confusion (lockdown with intruder). Repeat announcement several times. 2. Immediately direct all students and staff into the nearest classroom or secured place. 3. Lock classroom doors. 4. Move people away from windows and doors. Turn off lights. 5. Do not respond to anyone at the door until all clear is announced. 6. Keep out of sight. 7. Building administrator will announce all clear. We all need to take responsibility for our own actions. These events rarely occur without warning signs. If you have information that could turn into a dangerous situation, tell a teacher or administrator immediately. Maybe someone is making a list of the people they don't like, or maybe you overhear someone talking about a weapon if you do, tell! BE AN ACTIVE PART OF THE TEAM TO KEEP OUR SCHOOLS SAFE! Read about what is peer pressure and how it affects you at BeingGirl.com.