Lessons Learned: Active Shooter Incident at Saugus High School in Santa Clarita, California

On November 14, 2019, Saugus High School in Santa Clarita, California was the site of another deadly school mass shooting. On his 16th birthday, the active shooter shot 5 of his classmates, killing 2 of them. The shooter later died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.


Saugus High School Had Active Shooter Preparedness Training

Saugus High School had been through active shooter training, and their preparation saved lives in this tragic event. A sophomore student had even made an active shooter training video as a class project earlier in the school year.


Their preparation was evident:


  • Many students ran for safety without creating a stampede.

  • Teachers ushered other students away from danger.

  • Teachers and students barricaded doors, covered windows, and sheltered in place.

  • Teachers secured scissors and fire extinguishers as potential weapons to fight off the assailant.

  • Both off duty and on-duty law enforcement officers and EMTs responded quickly and were treating victims within minutes of the shooting.


Active Shooter Preparedness Training Saved Lives

Due to the recent active shooter preparedness training, the school prepared by placing gunshot wound kits (Keep the pressure kits) in each classroom. The kits were used by a teacher and off duty law enforcement officers, and their actions are credited with saving lives. And, cameras at the school were used by law enforcement to identify the shooter.


Barricading Doors During an Active Shooter Preparedness Training

The Sad Reality

A Washington Post analysis estimates 230,000 children have experienced gun violence at school since the Columbine High School tragedy in 1999. Police and fire personnel continually train to perfect their responses to these events. Staff, teachers, and students must also be prepared, as past events have shown that preparation does save lives. Teachers, students, and staff must be prepared to act as the ‘first responders’ in the early minutes of these shootings.


How the Institute for Childhood Preparedness Can Help Your School or Child Care Program

Our active shooter preparedness training is specifically designed for early childhood professionals and those caring for infants, toddlers, and children. As of November 2019, our training has been delivered to over 15,000 participants across 17 states, 9 Tribal Nations, and Washington, DC. We’re also proud to offer our training in English and Spanish. Don’t be scared. Be Prepared. Book active shooter preparedness training today: https://www.childhoodpreparedness.org/training.


We conduct our trainings in calm, safe environments. We never simulate any gun violence during our training.

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