Florida School Board Shootingposted by Glen Evans, Insider AccessThursday, December 16th 2010 @ 12:00 AM (not yet rated)
This is an incredible video and gives an insight into what happens during a critical incident. Each innocent participant went through what I call the three phases of violence.
ASSESSMENT: The first moments of the incident, the perpetrator demonstrated shocking behavior. While this occurred, those watching him examined in their minds whether this was actually happening. When strange or erratic behavior is demonstrated by a human being, and it is being witnessed by human beings, we pause and attempt to draw conclusions.
Often the question we ask is, "Is this really happening?"
INTERPRETATION: In the second phase, and at the moment we determine the event is happening, our mind begins to search for a response. If we have not mentally pre-planned, received training, or practiced a response, our mind will often draw a blank. In a similar way, if we are not in condition yellow (at least observing behavior and making assessments) and our mind has to catch up, we will often be unable to develop a working plan quickly. Notice the bewildered look in the eyes of most of the board members. They were continually asking themselves if this was really happening or if they were dreaming. Once you determine the incident is occurring, any training you have received will usually take over and resolve the incident according to your training.
In an interesting note, those who do not believe violence will ever happen to them attempt to resolve a violent incident peacefully at all costs. Superintendent Husfelt may have been resorting to his training as a principal. This is illustrated in the Superintendent's attempt to squelch any aggressive action by those within the room, including fellow board member Ginger Littleton, who attempted to disarm the aggressor with a strike of her purse. Although Littleton's attempt was defeated, she made a valiant effort to save the lives of her fellow board members. She did something and was not going to wait around for someone to come to her aid. At the very least, she took action at great risk to her life. Husfelt attempted to humanize himself and rationally explain his position to the aggressor, but he was dealing with a man who was deranged. The suspect stated he would die, and everyone in the room should have believed him. Remember, if you decide to attack in a deadly force incident, your response should be 150% or more, and your goal should be to disable your assailant to stop the aggressive action.
The statements after the incident are typical. Usually, people say things like, "School board meetings (or churches) are supposed to be safe. I can't believe it happened." This is no longer so. Repeated violent incidents have demonstrated the need to plan better.
Be aware when violence occurs, there will be people around you who will try to stop you from acting aggressively for fear it will anger the aggressor. This is a natural response from people who are of the mindset that nothing bad will ever happen to them. A good rule of thumb is if someone threatens you and displays the ability to accomplish it, you should believe it.
ACTION: Fight or Flight. Everyone in the room made a decision. Some followed the lead of their leader, Superintendent Husfelt. Others fled at the first opportunity. Although Husfelt portrayed a brave face, and attempted to rationalize with the aggressor, it was not a strategy that would work in this instance. This has happened in church violence incidents too. There are crtical moments in the second stage that can help ensure your survival. The decision is yours to make, and pre-planning a response will increase the chance you react in the most appropriate manner for you.
Amazingly, nobody but the aggressor died. In spite of being just a few feet away, Duke (the shooter) missed every person he targeted. In the end, an armed person (security) stopped the aggressive action by shooting the aggressor and Duke completed the action by killing himself.
This type of incident has become more common, and media interest and display will encourage those selfish, entitled individuals bent on killing innocent people to attack to show their anger and rage on an international stage.
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