Faculty News

How Active Shooter Drills Affect Students

According to a new national poll by University of Michigan researchers, active shooter drills have a negative effect on students’ emotional health and yield questionable results. In this episode of Michigan Minds, lead authors of the study explain the process for conducting the research and what the findings suggest should be considered in future procedures.

Lead author of the study N’dea Moore-Petinak, a doctoral candidate at the U-M School of Public Health, and senior author  Tammy Chang, an assistant professor in the Department of Family Medicine at Michigan Medicine, analyzed responses from 1,300 participants ages 14-24.

“A few big takeaways from the poll were that drills need to be established to be more rooted in effective methods and standardize, and also that they really need to take youths’ emotional health into consideration,” Moore-Petinak says.

Chang added that she was surprised by some of the findings.

“I was surprised that youth said that they felt prepared, which means that whatever they were drilling, they got it. They knew what they were supposed to do. But the surprising part is that the thing that they were supposed to do now made them feel scared and helpless,” she says.

Moore-Petinak and Chang say the findings suggest that school administrators, counselors, and policymakers should consider strategies that improve policies around active shooter drill methods and prioritize students’ emotional health.

Learn more in this episode of Michigan Minds.

Read more about the study from Michigan News