Richmond County teachers will start this school year trained to handle school shootings. This week they participated in Civilian Response to Active Shooter Event training, a program taught by law enforcement.
“The number of armed people is rising, and the number of incidents is going up.” said Charles Bowles, deputy sheriff for Richmond County Police Department. “It used to be run, hide, fight. Now it’s avoid, deny, defend.”
The training was designed to get the teachers to view those three tenets as the pillars for survival and to give them the knowledge and mentality to apply each one successfully.
They were taught to abandon the instinct to be nurturers and unlearn the habit of simply waiting for help. It was drilled into the staff that they are the first responders.
Survival could come down to making tough decisions that many would never want to consider, like refusing to unlock a door for a person in harm’s way during lockdown. It also meant having the courage, composure, and willingness to take the necessary action, which could include using force against an adult or a child.
When you defend, defend with the mentality that whatever happens, you and your kids are going to go home, they were repeatedly told.
The training began with a lecture but the bulk of it was divided into skill stations set up around the school so that teachers were in settings where they would likely be during a real school shooting. That setup allowed them to learn how to use the layout of their building and classrooms to their advantage and how to use items readily available to them as tools and protection.
For the full article pick up a copy of this weeks Northern Neck News 8/29/18