Campus Safety

Dealing with Campus Violence

Major categories of school violence include bombs and bomb threats; arson; assaults on individuals, such as fights, stabbing, shootings or kidnapping; and assaults on groups, including hostage taking and mass shootings.

Every situation is unique. Response and prevention may only be discussed in general terms and with general suggestions. The following is a guide for different situations.

Bombs and Bomb Threats

How to react: call 911. You may also call the sheriff's department in Uvalde (278-4401) or the local police departments in Del Rio (774-2711) and Eagle Pass (773-9208). You may campus security in Uvalde at 278-4401.

Arson

How to react: prepare against arson the same way as an accidental fire. Plan on how to get out of a room. Plan alternate exits (windows). This is especially important because an arsonist often tries to intentionally block the exits to a room to prevent escape. Is it possible to break through a sheetrock wall or go through a suspended ceiling? Plan ahead; survey offices and classrooms. Know where the fire extinguishers are. Plan on how to get everyone out. Do not assume the fire has been reported. Call 911.

Assaults on Individuals

How to react: if the assault is in progress, scream, yell, or do something to get as much attention as possible and to get the attacker to stop. Call 911. Aid the victim if possible. Be a good witness (including being able to describe the attacker, his clothes, his vehicle, where he went, what he did, what he said).

Assaults on Groups

What leads up to shootings or hostage incidents?

  • The actors (individuals or groups) often plan the event for days, weeks or months.
  • They warn others with their moods, emotions or possible falling grades that trouble or hate is building within them.
  • They may brag or boast their plans to others or threaten others where they can be intentionally overheard.
  • They exhibit a progressive increase of violence, anger, hatred or rudeness to others. The actors are often outcasts, loners or someone others consider weird.
  • They could belong to a group or gang of similar individuals.
  • They may become a rebel against society and authority. They may exhibit a lack of respect for others and the property of others.

Ways to Prevent a Hostage Situation or Shooting

Ways you can help prevent an assault event or discover these people before they go that far:

  • Watch students for the above behavior and patterns. Watch for loners, outcasts or groups of persons exhibiting gang behavior. Don't give credibility to groups not recognized by the college.
  • Listen to students. They know far more about what is going on with others in their group than we will ever know. Let them know that they can talk about someone or something that is bothering them, or about something they have overheard. Make it part of classroom practice to talk about the tragedies that have happened in Colorado and elsewhere. Get their suggestions.
  • Students trust that the university will take care of them. Go over the what-ifs with students. Go over a reaction plan. Explain to them how law enforcement and emergency services will respond to a situation.
  • Advise a university officer (dean, faculty, staff member)

How you should react to a shooting or hostage event:

  • If you are in a class and hear shooting nearby; keep everyone inside, lock the doors, close the blinds, and get everyone on the floor, possibly against a wall out of the line of fire from the windows. Stay there. Someone in the class probably has a cell phone with them. Use it to call 911. Emergency personnel will respond and evacuate you when it is safe to do so.
  • If suspects are in the classroom with a gun: Don't challenge them. Don't threaten them. Do what they say. Try to keep things calm. Remember, for the first few minutes, or until they are notified, the police do not know that anything has happened. Then they have to have time to assess the situation and react to the situation. The first few minutes of an incident are critical and most often you are alone with the danger.
  • Victims and hostages should follow directions given by law enforcement, for the safety of everyone.
  • Advise a university officer (dean, faculty, staff member)
  • They may be ordered to exit an area with their hands raised and may be treated as armed and dangerous until they are identified.
  • The area will be closed off as a crime scene for a time and this may cause some inconvenience to you or your area. Please obey officers, they will work as efficiently and as quickly as possible to get things back to normal.

Local Emergency Numbers

Call 911 from any location, or from a particular campus, call:

Local Numbers Del Rio Eagle Pass Uvalde
Sheriff (830) 774-7518 (830) 773-2321 (830) 278-4101
Police (830) 774-2711 (830) 773-9208 (830) 278-9147
Fire Department (830) 774-8650 (830) 757-9152 (830) 278-3333