So watching the news last night a story caught my attention, the high school in a local district was holding an active shooter drill on a staff professional development day. Now having been through a similar drill I was surprised to hear that four members of the staff had called the local prosecutor’s office for advice. I’m not sure why, did they think what was happening was illegal? Were they worried about being required to participate?
I found two other articles about this same story today one from the St. Louis Post Dispatch Farmington Teachers Balk at Shooting Drill with Pellet Guns and one from the St. Francois County Daily Journal School’s Active Shooter Drill Alarms Some Staffers. I mentioned in a previous post Intruder Drills and Lockdown that I went through a similar training. Now the training I underwent did not include the possibility of teachers being shot by pellet guns which I understand adds another level of anxiety and fear but as a teacher who has been through a similar training I think all teachers should as well. The Daily Journal article says teachers were given the option to opt out of the drill more than once. So if you were given the option to opt out why didn’t you? I’m confused.
A parent interviewed for the KSDK story commented that it can happen anywhere, even in a small town. My first thought was that most of the major stories I can recall about school shootings were in small towns. That being said I don’t think it matters what size town, school, or district you are in it only seems beneficial to me to participate in training like this. Once you do those ideas stick with you.
Part of our training was the County officers walking through the building and classrooms identifying strong and weak points. Since that time I try to always make sure (when I have control that is) that my desk is situated so that I can see into the hallway through the window in the classroom door, the phone is close to my desk, and my classroom door is always locked. I’m fortunate that in my current building we have a way to keep our doors locked and propped so that no teachers have to go into the hallway to lock their door during a drill.
My room was recently rearranged as the computers on the back meant that students working there had their backs to the SMART board and it made it difficult for them to type when we type things together as a class. I noticed almost right away that the added benefit of the computers being moved is the tables now create a niche for students to sit in during intruder drills. Something I did not have before, it’s a little bit more of a place for my students to be out of sight. Something I might not have thought of so quickly and readily if not for the training I was lucky enough to take part in.
What about you teachers out there? Have you participated in trainings like this? Would you? Parents what do you think?