BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - Tragedies like today's mass shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida might make you wonder how safe your kids are at school. But, according to Matt Hardy with the National Association of School Resource Officers, the answer is actually very safe.
Hardy talked to WBRC Fox 6 News in wake of the school shooting in Parkland, Fla. Confirmed shooter Nikolas Cruz, 19, killed 17 people at Stoneman Douglas High, making it the seventh deadliest shooting in American history.
"I don't think you're ever really prepared for a situation like this. It's something you think about every day," Hardy said. "When you come to work, you know it could happen. I know everybody thinks it's never going to happen in their community, but you have to be prepared."
Hardy detailed the training put into place for SROs, saying the first thing done is to make sure everyone in the building are safe. Though many employers and schools teach the "Run, Hide, Fight" method, Hardy said SROs are trained to go straight toward the suspect.
Despite horrible acts like the Stoneman Douglas High shooting, Hardy cites communication as among school officials, law enforcement and the community as what keeps schools safer now than in the past.
"I think that when you have a good resource officer program there's communication between social workers, mental health workers, police departement staff, everybody that needs to communicate," he said. "We don't hear all these other instances that are foiled before they ever even happen."