"You ultimately hope that it would never happen here"
Fri, 17 Jan 2014 23:48:07 GMT —
Blair Oaks faculty spent Friday at the middle school training how to respond to an active shooter in the school.
The focus is twofold; prevention and survival strategies.
One key element of prevention is recognizing warning signs.
"That could be fascination with violence, it could be trying to relate to other violent attacks, it could be a threat of violence or a threat of suicide," Brad Spicer, a reserve deputy at the Cole County Sheriff's Department said.
Spicer and his company, SafePlans, travel across the country educating schools on emergency preparedness.
Survival strategies are for when prevention fails.
"Barricading doors, in my situation...my location of the building, I have a megaphone with a siren on it that if I hear gunshots and there's nothing that comes from the office, I'm supposed to activate the siren on the megaphone," Corey Wood, a teacher and coach at Blair Oaks, said.
While only teachers were present for the training Friday, the goal is to pass on the knowledge to their students.
"I always encourage them to look around not only my classroom, but other classrooms, to see what weapons could be available. Things such as books, pictures, chairs...just anything in the classroom that they can use, that they can throw at someone or use to attack someone if that became the situation," Wood said.
Spicer said the most important thing for teachers to remember is to make a decision between running, hiding and fighting.
"If you have direct contact with someone who wants to hurt you or you're in an area you can't secure, you run away. Hide is denying access, so if you have indirect contact and you're in a location that you can barricade or lock, then you would hide. The fight is the absolute last resort. That means that you cannot run and you're in fear for your life, and what that means is you just resist. Don't just sit and be a passive target," he said.