In the past few years, the United States has unfortunately seen a spike in school shootings. Most recently, on March 20, two students were injured during a shooting at Great Mills High School in Lexington Park, Maryland. This comes just weeks after the tragic shooting in Parkland, Florida when a former student snapped and killed 17 people, including both students and staff.
There have been countless rallies and protest held against the current gun laws. Many parents are expressing concern for the safety of their children, and many students admit to being afraid of the “norm” that this has become.
In an attempt to make students aware and prepared in the case of an emergency, Chabot teamed up with the Hayward Police Department to join in on the ‘Run Hide Fight’ campaign. A campaign designed to teach students how to survive an active shooter.
The video is narrated by Lieutenant Antonio Puente, who walks us through the steps to take in case a shooter is on campus. While Puente speaks, the viewer watches a mock active shooter situation going through the campus of Chabot. The shooter is portrayed by actress/producer Connie Jo Sechrist.
Sechrist, a San Jose native and former Chabot TV employee, admitted she felt “very uncomfortable” while portraying the shooter in the video. “The whole point of making the video is to help save lives, and when we decided to make the shooter a woman, I was for it. But in reality, I had to step outside of my comfort zone to play the role. I don’t want people to be scared of me.” Sechrist hopes that this project sends a message to viewers to “stand up, protect yourself and others, to not let this continue and to fight back.”
I showed the video to a couple of students and got feedback on what they believe would be the best tactic to remain safe during a shooting. “I would run, but I would also try to locate where the shooter is and avoid that area,” a student named Gabriel said to me. His friend, Christian, followed by saying “I would try to find an empty room to hide in.” Both of which are great options to keep in mind.
Sechrist is currently working on a feature film about human trafficking in which she hopes to bring awareness and expose the truth behind the epidemic. To hear more about Sechrist upcoming projects visit her website, www.ConnieJoSechrist.com. This story was originally covered by the Spectator, last year.