|Lincolnview teachers learn safety measures|
|Wednesday, May 15, 2013 12:26 AM|
BY LINDSAY MCCOY
James Burke of the Ohio Peace Officer Training Academy was present in the morning to educate teachers and staff on active shooter responses. Burke highlighted previous instances, including Columbine and Virginia Tech, that have pushed schools to have a plan in place for such an event.
Burke was followed by local officials trained to respond quickly in the case of an emergency. Officer Keith Allen of the Van Wert Sheriff’s Department informed staff on what first dealings with the sheriff’s department would consist of if such an event were to occur.
“Do not enter the hallways at all,” said Allen. “Once you are in a secure location, stay there.”
He went on to discuss the step-by-step process that would occur hopefully only minutes after a shooter incident was reported.
Responding officers’ first priority would be to take out the shooter before any more lives can be threatened. Second, those who have been injured will be tended to and will be followed by the safe evacuation of all those that remain in the building.
It is then the responsibility of principals to account for every child and staff member. Allen also warned that evacuation from the building may take teachers and young students past the bodies of those deceased.
“It will be one of the hardest things to deal with,” said Allen. “But we will try to get everyone out of the building without having to see this.”
In such instances, officers will encourage students to walk single file with their hands upon each others’ shoulders and eyes shut tightly to keep them for witnessing this life-altering sight.
Following Allen’s talk, he presented clips of actual shooting events to show teachers and staff how fast they can actually occur. One video taught viewers what responses to take first in such a situation. If able, people should first run and get away from the area if it is safe to do so. If it is not safe to escape the area, a person should hide out of the shooters view and behind something that could stop a bullet. Once hidden, a person or group of people should be ready to fight in the event that they are found by the shooter in an attempt to bring them down.
Allen informed teachers to be aware of items within their classroom that could be used to fight off an armed individual. While teachers are encouraged to think of their own safety and the safety of their students, they should be aware that responding officers will also be thinking of their personal safety. A person should be careful not to surprise an officer and to keep hands in the air while evacuating the area.
Allen reminded that if a gun is found to not pick it up to give to officers. Officers may mistake a person for the shooter and shoot them before asking any questions. In these situations, it could take hours for conditions to be marked safe and during this time, students and teachers will have to remain where they are. It is important for a teacher to have a plan even those this plan could change easily as there is no way to prepare for every situation.
In addition to the Van Wert Sheriff’s Department, Van Wert Fire Department and Emergency Management were also in attendance at the in-service. These local services would also be actively involved in the case of such incident within a local school.
|Last Updated on Wednesday, May 15, 2013 12:39 AM|