Apparently, faculty at Purdue are unwilling to even shut a door with a known active shooter on campus:
“I’ll have the TA tackle him if he comes in,” joked Professor Rebecca Trax, according to Sami Menard, a student in her 12:00 Introduction to Accounting class.
Trax may very well have been describing the scene that unfolded in the Electrical Engineering building, where a TA was killed.
Trax’s class is held in the Class of 1950 lecture hall, one of the biggest lecture halls at Purdue. It is in these lecture halls that the greatest number of students were vulnerable. Menard and many other students reported that Trax took no precautions whatsoever when the university-wide text messaging system alerted students and faculty to the danger. Lights were left on and doors were left unlocked while she continued to lecture.
Professor Trax was not the only faculty member who disregarded the danger. Student Claire Gordon said that Miyoung Hong, an instructor in the College of Liberal arts, insisted that there were no threats, and propped open a door after another instructor had closed it.
Student Bryce Shaffer told The Purdue Review that Professor Alon Kantor cracked jokes. “[He] told us we’re being typical Americans and hysterical for asking him to lock doors, and [continued] lecturing.”
It might behoove the administration at Purdue to do a better job communicating with their faculty that a “it can’t happen here” attitude is one assured way of turning a bad incident into a nightmare. They are very, very lucky that the shooter was only interested in one victim.
It appears the faculty at Purdue has academic credentials, but no survival instincts or common sense at all.