Skip to comments.Local school officials learn first-hand how to handle a school shooting (IN)
Posted on 08/07/2013 6:03:28 PM PDT by digger48
From down the hallway, it sounded like a locker door slamming. But the noise was something far more menacing.
The sound was a gunshot. A man wearing a red hoodie and dark sunglasses walked down the hallways of Northwestern High School, trying door handles. He found one door open and fired a bullet into the classroom.
The deafening blast ricocheted through the building.
A teacher came out to see what was happening. The man shot him in the chest, and the teacher crumpled to the ground.
Its been a minute since that man first fired that gun, yelled Indiana State Police Sgt. Tony Slocum to the crowd of onlookers lining the hallway where the shooter had just walked through. The police havent arrived yet. People are dying. What are you doing?
That was the question Indiana State Police asked educators and administrators from Howard and Cass counties Tuesday morning after police acted out an active shooter scenario at the school to re-create the terror and chaos that occurs during an actual shooting situation.
State police, along with the Indiana Department of Education, spent months planning the training, which they offer to any school district in the state.
Eleven districts so far have asked for the training scenario, and more are signing up as students all over the state head back to school.
Slocum said the goal of the training is to provide school administrators with ways to respond to a shooter situation and to provide information on the kind response they can expect from law enforcement.
It also serves as a starting point for schools to brainstorm ideas and practices that keep students and communities safe, he said.
I hope for the best, but thats not the world I live in, Slocum told school officials Tuesday. The world I live in, you need to have a plan, and the time to make that plan isnt when someone is shooting at you.
Shortly after the hooded man shot the teacher in the mock scenario, four officers arrived on scene, checking classrooms until they located the shooter around a corner inside a room. They apprehended the man, and escorted him out of the building in handcuffs.
The whole scene wrapped up in about five minutes, but Slocum said during a real shooting event, what teachers and students decide to do in those brief minutes means the difference between life and death.
Five minutes is a long time if someone is shooting in your school. A long time, he said. It seems like an eternity.
Rick Hogue, an ISP school safety liaison, said in the past, schools held a lockdown mentality during shooting events. Teachers were told to just hunker down in a classroom and wait for police to arrive.
But that isnt the case anymore, he said, as law enforcement has become more savvy on dealing with actual shooting situations.
This drill today is unique and it changes the paradigm. It changes the mindset, he said. It provides educators with options on what they can do from the time the event starts to the time law enforcement arrives.
It boils down to three choices for school officials and students, he said run, hide or fight.
Which option teachers and staff decide to take depends on the nature of the situation, Hogue said, but teachers shouldnt feel limited to just staying put in the classroom.
Slocum said the real point, however, is to have a plan in place, so school officials have some kind of protocol to follow.
How do they develop that plan?
What were asking you to do is something we dont want you to do, he said. But you need to start thinking like these creeps and cretins and cowards who kill our kids criminals and sick people, theyre not dumb. They have plans.
When would a person dead-set on killing start shooting, for example? During lunch, when theres a big crowd? Who would the shooter kill? Would it be random, or would it be the person running the intercom who could notify the school about whats happening?
Slocum encouraged teachers and staff to ask those questions, and develop a game plan based on the answers.
Schools can also be proactive in identifying students or other people who might potentially cause harm or become violent.
Slocum told teachers there are tell-tale signs that students might become dangerous, like an increase in unexplained absences, a decrease in attention to appearance, mood swings, or the development of an everyone-is-against-me mentality.
Its a corny saying, but it really hits the point if you see something, say something, he said. If you get that feeling that something might be wrong, act on it.
Northwestern Middle School Principal Brett Davis said most teachers and staff in his school district have already taken online training on dealing with active shooters, but Tuesdays scenario made that training more real.
When you see it happening visually, it really hits home, he said.
And for Slocum, the training has a personal undertone. With kids of his own, he said he wants to make sure school administrators know how to keep them safe, along with every other student in a school.
It hit me recently how much I trust you guys to keep my kids safe, he said to the teachers. Nobody wakes up and expects a shooting to happen. Nobody expects their school to be shot up
Were not telling you that you have to do this or that during a shooting, but just to think about what you can do, and what you would do.
2 things stuck out to me.
One, was the 5 minute response time. while there are a couple of local schools within city limits where 5 minute "might" be possible, this particular school is 15 minutes from town on a good day.
Second, it seems that most school shooters have no intention of being taken alive, kinda throwing a kink in the whole idea of peacably taking them alive.
If they’re not arming the teachers, then this drill is useless. If they’re doing a lockdown (organizing the mass murderer for the crazy guy), then this drill is useless.
Google Maps (OK I know they are considered libs) says Northwestern HS is 6 miles from downtown Kokomo.
I know exactly where it is.
many miles of city streets and county roads for the local SWAT team to travel
it seems as though they are trying to steer schools away from the run-and-hide.
In IN, it has long been legal for an administrator to have a firearm on campus
Had a student kill our principal in the parking lot before school thirty years ago. He went into the office and turned himself in. Have often wondered what if he had continued to shoot
That made me curious, so I looked.
On Google Maps, its 11-13 minutes from the County Sheriffs office to the school.
Taking in time for the cal, the dispatch, the reaction time, the drive, the set-up.....20-25 minutes would not be unrealistic.
Now, my local school of 400 students, is about 10 miles farther than that.
You know the swat team would be driving > 100mph
just because they could, LOL
Maybe it's time to build our schools like castles, with their own armed guards.
as long as we aren’t locking up the kids with those people who work in them
A few well armed teachers with a practiced plan, would make quick work of one or maybe a couple of shooters.
I think back to my Nuke plant days and the drills that the security team would do. They felt that a small team would be able to hold off a big squad of attackers because they knew the place so well and where to hide out.... yeah, they were mostly ex-military, but so are a lot of our teachers.
Arm them and let them establish a plan of defense against one to many attackers. The Belsan situation gives me nightmares.
An attack in the morning may coincide with rush hour traffic. It would be a challenge for a land vehicle to get anywhere fast. A helicopter becomes a much better choice.
A five minute response time is possible only if you count a few Sheriff's deputies who will arrive but wouldn't be able to do much. An active shooter in an average school building may require twenty or thirty LEOs to secure. Some would be outside, forming the perimeter; other go inside in pairs and check every room and every broom closet. If students are present, there will be hundreds of them; that will be a distraction too, and the shooter may be hiding among them.
You are absolutely correct! Once it’s known that teachers can be armed, these school shootings will stop immediately.
To be honest, I can't even say for sure that Howard County even HAS a SWAT team.
I saw the pictures and shook my head.
So the cops are trying portray that they will go in under 5 minutes with pistols against an unknown suspect that could be wearing armor and armed with an AR or AK. That would likely get the cops all killed. I don’t think so.
Here in Noblesville, I think our closest SWAT is in Carmel.
Lockdown in any emergency should be practiced, like we practice the bomb drills back in the 60s. But the teachers that are licensed to carry, let them do it! The life they save could be the one you love most.
Fishers has quite the team.
I recently talked to the man who builds their rifles and tweaks their sidearms.
Hamilton County also just bought 75 blacked-out GM SUVS from a local dealership. Really eerie seeing them lined up in the lot.
Forget the Black Helicopters, look out for the Black SUVs coming down your street!
If they don’t arm the teachers and train them to use the weapon, then all they are doing is teaching them that within 15 minutes they will have wet themselves and will probably be dead.
“Hamilton County also just bought 75 blacked-out GM SUVS from a local dealership”
Must be hellacious disturbances at Geist this summer. Is the local talent from downtown crossing the Marion county line?
Kinda makes me wonder.
None of the traffic cops use these type of vehicles. Those are now purchashed to “blend in” with the other vehicles on the road.
Most recently, they bragged about using white F-150 pick-ups that look like construction fleet vehicles to patrol work zones.
Black SUVs sound more like Homeland Security
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