Active shooter training, facilitated by Region 8 Education Service Center, began at 8 a.m. today in the Prairiland High School gym where staff learned more about myths, statistics and training for what could and should take place during a situation on campus involving an active shooter.
“When we came in this morning we learned that the current protocol for these staff was an outdated procedure,” said Lee Gill, of Region 8. “Most believe that you should turn the lights off and hide, but in reality, there’s a much more efficient way to respond that saves lives and that’s what today’s training is all about.”
After lunch, the staff were instructed to go to classrooms and were able to take part in implementing their training. There were a total of four scenarios:
- Doing what they would normally do, prior to today’s training
- Use the training they have received, unaware that there were gunmen hidden in the classrooms
- Shooter outside the building/in distance
- Shooter in the building but not in their area
The teachers were required to make on-the-spot decisions to run, barricade doors, fight back and even knowing when the coast was clear.
One of the hidden gunmen in scenario two was Major Curt Maples, a former Marine of 20+ years who now teaches Biology at PISD. “The training was great, it brought me back a little to the training I received in the military. It’s all about planning and being as prepared as possible. Nothing ever goes according to plan, but it gets you thinking and that’s crucial,” said Maples.
“I’m really pleased with today. The teachers took this seriously and they learned a lot from today. If there are two things I hope they walk away with it would be to keep their doors locked (at all times) and that movement saves lives,” said Gill.
Region 8 Education Service Center covers 11 counties and 48 schools with a variety of services. Gill reported that the active shooter training keeps him busy and that he hopes all schools will take advantage of it. The training is funded by Region 8 from a co-op budget set aside for the Health and Safety division.
“I want our teachers to feel safe and most importantly, I want our students to be safe. That’s what this is about – Prairiland will continue to do all we can to be prepared for something like this,” said Prairiland Superintendent, Jeff Ballard. “I’m really grateful that Region 8 spent the day with us for this training and I know we all got a lot out of this.”
According to Ballard, the teachers will take the training they received today and use it to contextualize it in their own classrooms. Teachers will be training their students following the training they received today.