Save Yourself in a School Shooting

ByABC News
November 9, 2005, 9:43 PM

Nov. 10, 2005 — -- The possibility of a school shooting has become a serious concern at schools across the United States. Just days ago, a 15-year-old student in Jacksboro, Tenn., walked into his high school cafeteria and opened fire -- wounding two men and killing an assistant principal.

During the incident, the school went into "lockdown" mode -- where kids are required to go to designated classrooms and wait there until the emergency is over. In recent weeks, a San Diego school and one in a Washington suburb also went into lockdown after two scares over possible shooters.

"The issue of safety's a big issue," said Principal Lee Hamilton, of Shawnee High School in Shawnee, Okla. "I mean it's one of the primary issues of our school and every school that I know of."

Hamilton has an armed police officer on duty at the school and requires his students to perform regular lockdown drills.

But how well would their preparations work in a real emergency? With the help of ABC News safety consultant Bob Stuber and dozens of student volunteers, "Primetime" set out to see just how effective the lockdown method is.

First, "Primetime" installed cameras throughout Shawnee High -- in the classrooms, hallways and cafeteria.

The school staff and students were asked to behave just as they would if there were an armed intruder in the school. The students filed calmly to their designated classrooms where the teachers locked the doors, turned off the lights and waited for the all-clear signal.

To get an idea of how well the lockdown would work in a real-life situation, Stuber and his assistant Daniel Bauman acted as simulated gunmen the second time around -- without telling the students beforehand.

When the principal gave the alert the teachers again started moving the kids to the classrooms. This time, however, there was a surprise waiting for them, as the two pretend gunmen appeared out of the blue.

"You're dead," shouted Stuber, a former police officer and nationally renowned safety expert. "You're dead!"