More than 100 Jefferson County teachers and administrators in Alabama took part in active school shooter training last week in the latest round of security measures following the Dec. 14 Connecticut school shooting that shook the nation.
Over 100 Jefferson County teachers and administrators took part in Active school shooter training at the Jefferson County Counseling Center East January 2, 2012. Participants took part in a simulated active school shooter situation. AL.COM /Landov
The training, a collaboration between Jefferson County Schools and the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office, featured shooter simulations, in which teachers and administrators took turns with paint pellet-filled weaponry and protective gear. Educators played the roles of both law enforcement officials and teachers, who followed school emergency procedures and lockdown protocol amid chaotic noise, bullets and yelling, designed to simulate the 1999 Columbine High School shooting, AL.com reports.
But the simulation wasn't meant to train educators on how to attack or defeat a school shooter, Jefferson County Chief Deputy Randy Christian told TIME.
"They were allowed to take on the role of law enforcement so they could understand the need to relay accurate and timely information to first responders," Christian said.
Officials also urged teachers to keep an emergency backpack in their classrooms, carrying items like a school map, first-aid kit, flashlight and paper and tape to black out windows.
"As a witness I learned that you have to be a lot more attentive," high school teacher Beth Martin told WIAT.
The training comes nearly three weeks after the Connecticut shooting that killed 26 people in Newtown's Sandy Hook Elementary School, including 20 children, spurring renewed national interest in gun control and school safety. Whereas Alabama's training focuses on unarmed teacher response, hundreds of Utah teachers lined up for concealed weapons training, sponsored by the Utah Shooting Sports Council.
Source: Huffington Post