Today, Prairiland ISD held their first intruder and active-shooter training.
“It’s something we’ve been thinking about for a long time because of everything that is going on in the world,” said Prairiland Superintendent, Jeff Ballard.
After an incident recently at Prairiland Junior High, the school decided they needed training for these situations.
“About a month ago, we had some boys say they saw a man with a gun out in the pasture behind the school. So we had a real-life drill and we felt like after that drill we weren’t fully prepared,” added Ballard.
Region 8 Education Center Health and Safety consultant, Lee Gill, met with teachers and staff at the Prairiland High School for a full day of training and discussing the procedures in the event an active shooter invaded the campus.
”We teach them a survival skillset on what they need to do before law enforcement arrives,” explained Gill.
The most important takeaway from the day was having classroom doors locked at all times.
“I want all educators to start locking their classroom doors. Statistics show that no one has ever been shot or killed behind a simply locked classroom door,” added Gill.
Throughout the day, teachers and staff not only saw real-life situations through videos, but things got very real after lunch.
“There two parts to this course and today it included a real shooter scenario,” Gill said.
With the help of local law enforcement, those in attendance experienced what an active shooter scenario could be like and were able to implement the strategies they learned during the first part of the day.
“We use airsoft guns with plastic BB’s to add realism to the event and also had blanks in real handguns.”
“They heard gunfire, smelt gunfire and the fire alarms went off to make this a very realistic event without anyone getting harmed,” Gill explained.
Other strategies covered during the training included ALICE (Alert Lockdown Inform Counter and Evacuate), OODA (Observation, Orientation, Decision, and Action), how movement saves lives, as well as, how to break a window, barricade a door and more.
“We also discussed how to gain situational awareness around you, so they can see what’s going on and learn how to pick up on the signs and symptoms of those that are exhibiting those signs and symptoms of a possible shooter or a disturbed child that could possibly become a shooter tomorrow, next month, next year or the next 10 years,” said Gill.
Having teachers and school staff prepared and trained in active-shooter situations is a priority to Prairiland ISD.
“Safety of the children is the number one reason we are doing this. If something happens, and a gunman is in the hallway, the kids are going to look at that teacher for guidance,” Ballard said.
“That teacher needs to know what to do.”
Prairiland ISD is, in fact, one of only a few school districts locally that allow licensed staff to carry a handgun.
“Because of the police response time that it takes the police to get here if something happened, we do not have an SRO at this time and are looking into it, but we felt like we are in the hallways at all times and that would be the best possible solution to help protect the kids,” said Ballard.
Those staff members who do carry on campus, went through extensive training this past summer to get professional training and necessary licenses.
To see more video from the active shooter training at Prairiland ISD, click here