SAN JOSE – As the new school year begins, Santa Clara educators are taking an active approach to protecting students.
More than 300 teachers recently took part in an “active shooter” training session, reports the Mercury News.
The training session was directed under the joint efforts of the San Jose Police Department and the University Police Department at San Jose State, as a result of last year’s school massacre in Newtown, Connecticut.
The two departments brought educators and caretakers together so that they could revamp the protocol in case of an attack.
The protocol which was taught, entitled “Run, Hide, Defend,” was implemented by authorities so that school districts and other organizations all have the same contingency plan, reports the news story.
San Jose police Sgt. Jason Pierce told Mercury News that this plan is simple and blended into the existing school drills.
“It’s quick, and we want everybody doing the same thing,” Pierce said. “We want them to be physically and mentally prepared.”
The local superintendent told the newspaper that this type of training should now be a priority for all schools.
“In most of these cases that have been documented, the reality is that the shooter either stopped, left, or turned the gun on themselves before officers arrived. If that’s the case, you need to develop a plan that has clear guidelines and suggestions on what to do if you come in contact with an active shooter face to face,” said Superintendent Chris Funk of the East Side Union school district.
The running and hiding aspects of the training taught the educators and caretakers how to effectively evacuate children and barricade classrooms or other similar areas.
The defend aspect of the plan, stressed as the last resort, focused on a literal plan of attack to be used if a gunman breaches the security measures put in place, the story reports.
The goal of this last resort component is to disorient shooters and overpower them using a set of defensive techniques.
These steps include techniques and directives such as “improvise weapons,” “grab the shooter’s limbs and head, take them to the ground,” and enlisting the help of stronger students.
The training also educated the trainees on how to identify “red flags” which might telegraph future violence, the news story reports.
By Trevor TenBrink at EAGnews.org
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