School shootings before and after on This American Life

The latest episode of This American Life takes an in-depth look at how schools are preparing for school shootings and how families and communities are dealing with the aftermath.

The first segment of the episode focuses on Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla. Just one month before the Feb. 14, 2018, shooting where 17 people were killed, the school had conducted mass shooting drills as part of a new emergency response plan. Teachers at the school describe how the drill informed their actions on the day of the shooting and the degree to which they actually followed the procedures laid out in the emergency plan. Cheryl Jonson of ALICE, which conducts active shooter training, weighs in on various aspects of the Stoneman plan and others like it. The episode also includes audio from a faculty and staff drill at a rural Ohio school that has decided to keep handguns in safes on the campus in case of a shooting.

The second segment looks at the aftermath of mass shootings, focusing on Sandy and Lonnie Phillips, whose daughter was killed in the 2012 movie theater shooting in Aurora, Colo. The couple are now part of a community of survivors who visits sites of shootings to provide comfort and support to other survivors. The episode includes audio of their visit to Santa Fe High School in Texas, after the May 18, 2018, shooting and an interview with a Parkland couple who lost their son.

The full episode is available on the This American Life website.

What do Americans think about school security? The PDK poll has answers.


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