Do active shooting drills make kids safer?

Since the Columbine shooting in 1999, active shooting drills have become standard in most U.S. schools. In this 2016 file photo, first responders practice during a mass casualty drill at Cade Middle School. No students were on campus or participated in the drill.

At least once a year, students in Victoria public schools practice what they would do if there were a gunman on campus.

Do active shooting drills make kids safer?

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These drills have become a fact of life in most American schools as educators and law enforcement try to figure out how to keep children safe from armed attackers. In the 20-year period since Columbine, drills have become increasingly realistic, with some drills including actors posing as shooters and fake blood splattered on pretend victims.

As the pace of mass shootings in the U.S. stays steady, some child psychologists have questioned the effectiveness of these shooting drills on students, particularly on elementary school children, and whether the drills may do more harm than good.

Ciara McCarthy covers local health issues for the Victoria Advocate as a Report for America corps member. You can reach her at or at 580-6597 or on Twitter at @mccarthy_ciara.

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Health Reporter

Ciara McCarthy covers public health for the Advocate as a Report for America corps member. She reports on insurance, the cost of health care, local hospitals, and more. Questions, tips, or ideas? Contact: or call 361-580-6597.

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