Schools train students to ‘stop the bleed’

Bailey Kirkeby, Managing Editor

“We’ve taught a generation of Americans to be passive and static and wait for police”

-Former SWAT Officer Greg Crane

According to the Washington Post, as of Nov. 28, 2018, 23 school shootings have occurred in the United States this year — the highest number of shootings in a single year since at least 1999. As a result of this sudden surge, many schools are implementing the national Stop the Bleed campaign.
Stop the Bleed encourages bystanders to be properly equipped, educated and trained to aid in emergency situations before professional help arrives. Training sessions include learning how to apply a tourniquet, pack a deep wound with gauze and apply direct pressure to wounds to stop them from bleeding.

Bear Creek Principal Hillary Harrell said that although the Lodi Unified School District does not have a current plan for crisis intervention, she believes it is beneficial for students to know how to react in traumatic situations.

“I’m a big supporter of having students be CPR and first-aid qualified,” Harrell said. “Not just for active shooters, but for safety responses in general. You as a young person need to know how to respond to an emergency.”

Currently, Bear Creek’s only procedure to prepare for an active shooter on campus are lock-down drills, which former SWAT officer Greg Crane criticized as being an ineffective way to protect students.

“We’ve taught a generation of Americans to be passive and static and wait for police,” Crane said in an interview with ABC News. “We don’t recommend just locking a door because locked doors have been defeated before.”

Many students said having certified training similar to that taught by the Stop the Bleed campaign would largely benefit the school and better prepare students for dangerous situations.

“The school shooting rates are going up so much annually,” junior Taylor Lemon said. “At least one of those trainings could potentially save a life.”
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security reports that someone can die from blood loss within five minutes, making it crucial for bystanders to provide assistance; professional help often takes more than five minutes to arrive.

Numerous schools nationwide are implementing the Stop the Bleed campaign. This year, Georgia became the first state to offer bleeding control kits and training to every public school. Although Harrell said there has been no formal conversation at the district level of implementing a new way of teaching students how to react in the event of an active shooter, it is something she would love for Bear Creek to materialize.

“Part of it hurts my heart as a parent and as an administrator that that’s a reality you all face and that we face in terms of threats on campus and public areas,” Harrell said. “But I would love for our school to be a school that champions that [preparation].”