(CARMEL) - The fatal shooting at an Ohio high school has all schools counting their blessings.
"It's horrible, absolutely horrible," says Carmel Schools Director of Student Services Dr. Steven Dillon.
Administrators are also counting new ways to keep students safe.
Some Indiana schools are now running regular drills and giving students new options for dealing with a shooter in the building - beyond hiding in the dark.
"It's better you get to decide for yourself. You're responsible for yourself," said Carmel student Syma Bari.
Student Casey Brookes agrees.
"I just think we have a better chance of surviving," Brookes said.
After shooting incidents at Columbine and Virginia Tech, where hiding alone didn't save lives, Carmel and Hamilton Southeastern became leaders in teaching new defensive measures.
"Our new training gives the teacher and the student the ability to make some choices to help improve their situation for themselves," Dillon said.
Students and staff train to die in darkness if that's what's best or run out of the building and they rehearse it.
"Then you wouldn't spend all your time getting ready and get away faster," said Jaehee Kim, an elementary student at Carmel.
For older students, they're told they have to leave open the option of taking on their attacker in some situations.
"If confronting a person helps increase survivability in a situation, that's an option that's available as well," said Dillon.
High school student Patrick Withers says they're told to "do it calmly, carefully, don't beat around the bush with it. Just get it done with."
"It's Carmel, nothing's going to happen. It would happen anywhere. It is good to have that extra one step as a safety measure to know what's going on," said student Daniel Monroe.
"Their safety is first," said one Carmel dad.
Javier Colon said it gives him "Peace of mind, because they know the drill. They know where to go."
"We have some kind of idea what we're supposed to do," said Jocelyn, a high school student.
"I had an elementary student look up at me as I walked down the hallway she said 'We're in a lockdown, you need to go someplace safe.' Now that to me was the most powerful statement," Dillon said.
"We are better prepared," said student Ben Boynton. "You just have a better opportunity."
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