Best Practice Considerations for Schools in Active Shooter and Other Armed Assailant Drills Guidance (Guidance From the National Association of School Psychologists and the National Association of School Resource Officers)
The National Association of School Psychologists and the National Association of School Resource Officers have partnered to provide this guidance on armed assailant training. We received input from Safe and Sound Schools: A Sandy Hook Initiative and the ALiCE Training Institute. This document provides guidance on the important factors schools must take into account when considering and choosing to conduct armed assailant drills. It does not constitute an endorsement of a particular approach to training nor a specific training program.
A. Response to armed assailants has focused on implementing a school lockdown. Recently, discussion has emphasized options-based approaches, which sometimes include the “Run, Hide, Fight” model.
B. Armed assailant drills have both benefits and concerns associated with their implementation.
- Armed assailants in schools account for only 1% of homicides among school-age youth; schools must balance costs and benefits when allocating crisis preparedness resources.
- Such drills have the potential to empower staff and save lives, but without proper caution, they can risk causing harm to participants.
- Available research supports the effectiveness of lockdown drills implemented according to best practices, but research is still needed on the effectiveness of armed assailant drills.
This includes a new resource: Questions to Ask for Armed Assailant Drills Factsheet.