8 Things You Need to Know from a School Shooting Survivor

Audrey Frigon, Managing Editor

8 Things You Need to Know from a School Shooting Survivor

Mo Kadenacy is a seventeen-year-old from Los Angeles, California. It was lunchtime and he was sitting in a classroom on the third floor of his school, CHAMPS Charter School, with friends and a teacher enjoying lunch. Suddenly, he heard a voice over the intercom telling the students and teachers to go into lockdown. Kadenacy immediately sprang into action barricading the door, calming everyone down, and scouring social media for any clue as to what was happening. He checked his phone and saw panicked texts and posts from his friends saying there had been a school shooting.

Children and teenagers in American schools are faced with a threat that no other generation has even had to fathom. In just 2018 there have been at least 270 mass shootings and that tally grows on the daily. Because of this epidemic, kids are forced to worry about how to protect their lives from gunfire instead of worrying about who is asking who to prom.

While it is devastating that schools need to be prepared in case of a school shooting, a rapidly increasing number of students are finding themselves in similar situations to Mo. This is why it is vital for the Seattle Prep community to be prepared and know what to do in case of a school shooting or other emergency. Kadenacy has shared what he thinks are important things for anyone to know.

  1. Stay calm– In an emergency situation, it is very easy to panic but it is imperative to stay calm, quiet, and rational so you know what to do or can be ready for information on what to do.
  2. Keep others calm– If you are able to do so, try to help keep other people around you calm. This will reduce panic in the situation and keep your environment quieter and safer.
  3. Always maintain situational awareness– Always be aware of what is going on around you and do not follow the pandemonium. Keep your guard up paying attention to exits, suspicious people, and people who can help you in a situation.
  4. Stay out of crowds– Crowds are often physically dangerous and amplify the panic. Crowds are also easily visible so are a larger target for the shooter.
  5. Communicate what is going on– Students and teachers should contact the police immediately. If it is not safe to do this through a call, do so through texts or social media. Update family and friends to tell them what is going on as soon as you know.
  6. Find safety– If you are in a hallway go to the nearest classroom. Lock and barricade the door and close the blinds on the doors and windows. Situate in the back of the classroom and sit down so as not to be in the line of fire.
  7. Don’t put yourself or others in danger– It is better to stay hidden and safe than to try to leave the safe place before told it is okay to do so.
  8. Talk about it– After the fact make sure people know they did their best in the situation. Reach out to people like family, friends, teachers, counselors, or a therapist if you need to talk. It is important to talk about your experience and emotions so that you can get that closure that you need regarding the situation and how it affected you.

Going forward it is important to remember that knowledge is power. “What will save lives in the long run is making sure students and teachers are prepared and know what to do” Kadenacy said.


To learn more about what happened at Mo’s school, read this news story https://abc7.com/van-nuys-school-employee-student-shot-outside-campus/4295622/

In case of an emergency call 911. You can now text 911 but this is only available in certain locations around the country. If you have an iPhone you can silently call the police by pressing the power button 5 times quickly.

To find out more about how to prepare for emergency situations and school shootings in particular visit https://www.ready.gov/active-shooter

To learn more about and to support the March for Our Lives movement that fights against school shootings visit https://marchforourlives.com/

To contact the Crisis Hotline call: 1 (800) 273-8255 or text: “ANSWER” to 839863