Local administrator looks at lessons learned from school shootings

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Every time there's a tragedy like the shooting in Florida, the next day students all across the nation still have to get up and go to school.

On the day after the shooting, students at Drury University heard from an alum who knows a lot about crisis management and lessons learned from the previous shootings.

"You're always asking those questions about what can we do better, what do we need to keep and what do we need to let go of," explained Zac Rantz.

Rantz, the chief communication officer for Nixa's public schools, gave the class tips for dealing with a crisis situation. As these students have grown up with school shootings as a common occurence.

"It does get you paranoid," admitted sophomore Morgan Schilly. "You always need to know how to react to it and through these situations, although they are bad, it is a learning experience. (Seeing) what they're doing in Florida, how can we do that at Drury if something were to happen."

"How can we better ourselves in case this still does happen," adds senior Allyson Dougherty. "And maybe it will start making a decline."

Rantz talked about the lessons learned. From Columbine, for instance, came the need to protect and lock entrances. From Shady Hook came putting shades on windows that look into the classrooms.

"The windows were covered in the classrooms and that deterred the shooter from going in those classrooms," Rantz explained. "Because he could not see in."

With 18 school-related shootings during this school year, it's easy for people to emotionally shut-down and become numb to the tragedies as a way of coping.

"I think it's bad if we get numb," Rantz said. "Because we don't take it seriously if we get numb. These are big deals. It's the same way with a tornado. We have to treat every severe storm as having the potential to produce a tragic event and how do you act and react in that situation."

Rantz knows because he was a volunteer during the Joplin tornado that destroyed the high school. And he learned the importance of making sure parents keep their information updated with the school and that they know what social media site to go to in case of an emergency.

"How they communicate with you on a snow day is a great example of how they're going to communicate in a crisis."

Read the original version of this article at www.ky3.com.