Elizabethtown preparing students following Kentucky school shooting

Updated: Jan. 25, 2018 at 8:00 PM EST
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Students at Elizabethtown High School watched a training video Thursday on school shootings....
Students at Elizabethtown High School watched a training video Thursday on school shootings. (Source: WAVE 3 News)
Principal Steve Smallwood (Source: WAVE 3 News)
Principal Steve Smallwood (Source: WAVE 3 News)

ELIZABETHTOWN, KY (WAVE) - An active shooter in a school is something no one wants to think could happen in their hometown.

But after the deadly shooting at Marshall County High School, many school leaders are reviewing their safety plans. Thursday, Elizabethtown High School played a training video, preparing students on what to do if it happens at their school.

"I think about it a lot actually," Elizabethtown High School Senior Michael Choate said. "I'm always scared for the worst."

It's a dangerous scenario that students at the school prepare for. They have since they were kids.

"It's almost like a routine at this point, same with fire drills and tornado drills. We just know what to do," Elizabethtown High School Senior John Nelson told us.

Students at the high school Thursday watched a video called "Run, Hide, Fight." It teaches people how to protect themselves during a school shooting.

"Yeah, it's just, it's just a part of my life at this point," Nelson said. "Lock down drills are normal, school shootings. I remember Sandy Hook had an impact on me but then, it just became somewhat normal after that."

"I started teaching 20 years ago and that's when Columbine happened, in the spring of '99," Elizabethtown High School Principal Steve Smallwood remembered.

Before Columbine, Smallwood said schools felt safe. Now, it seems school shootings are becoming all too regular.

Friday, the school will conduct a lockdown drill. Principal Smallwood said they need to keep the information fresh in students' minds so they can stay safe.

With Marshall County High School being only about two hours from Elizabethtown, the principal said this school shooting really struck a chord with many.

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"It definitely does hit close to home. And it makes you think, how can we prevent these tragedies from continuing to occur," Smallwood said. "You have to be prepared. And if we don't talk about this, if we don't show videos like "Run, Hide, Fight" then our kids aren't prepared. So it's very important that we provide resources to our students so they're as safe as possible."

"It's just inevitable at this point. Not necessarily here. But just, it's going to happen again," Nelson said.

Students say the school's drills and training prepare them as much as they can for tragedies like what happened in Marshall County.

"It's absolutely awful what happened. And it could happen anywhere," Choate said.

Until these shootings stop, Smallwood says they'll keep teaching survival skills students will hopefully never need to use.

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