The Evolution of Active Shooter Protocols on College Campuses

The Evolution of Active Shooter Protocols on College Campuses

Tanya M. Grant (Mercy College, USA) and Makayla S. Dole (Sacred Heart University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-0113-9.ch016

Abstract

Roughly a decade after the substantial spike in the middle and high school massacres that occurred in the '90s, we have now seen this disturbing phenomenon arise anew on American college campuses. Overall, these horrifying, high profile acts of violence on college campuses remain relatively rare, nevertheless, academic administrators are required to manage threats of violence on an increasingly regular basis. As colleges and universities face the realities of today's educational environment, preparing for an active shooter event has become a necessity. The mass shooting at the University of Texas at Austin in 1966 has been hailed as the first major college campus-shooting incident. Since then, years of active shooting training and protocol development and evolution has taken place. A description of four of the deadliest college campus shootings (University of Texas at Austin, Virginia Tech, Oikos University, and Umpqua Community College) and the progression of the related active shooter protocols is provided.
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University Of Texas At Austin

On August 1, 1966, after stabbing his mother and his wife to death the night before, Charles Whitman, a former Marine, took rifles and other weapons to the observation deck atop the Main Building tower at the University of Texas at Austin, then opened fire indiscriminately on persons on the surrounding campus and streets. A total of 16 people were killed and 31 others were injured at the time; one final additional victim died in 2001 from lingering effects of the wounds sustained during the shooting (Lavergne, 1997). While many people are not aware of Charles Whitman and the University of Texas at Austin incident, historically, it is what many consider the first of the most well-known college shooting occurrences.

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