School staff training for an active shooter

School staff training for an active shooter (WKRC)

CINCINNATI (Rich Jaffe) - Would you want teachers in your schools carrying guns?

It's one of the most controversial issues in the entire country. In Ohio, around 40 school districts now allow teachers with concealed carry licenses to carry their weapons in class. In upstate Ohio there is top level, extraordinary teacher training.

The teachers and administrators train side by side with local law enforcement and paramedics at John Benner's Tactical Defense Institute. They're training for a nightmare, when classrooms and hallways become killing fields.

In one scenario the armed protector must quickly find and neutralize the bad guy as terrified students run out of a classroom.

Gun in hand he shouts, "Are there any other shooters? Are there any other shooters?"

Parents in a district asked that their staff be armed. The board OK'd the training and the carrying of weapons on campus by trained staff. Recent school shootings prompted them to ask not to identify the school district.

The superintendent acts as the shooter, he explained his reasoning on the controversial issue, "When does help come? Every 30 seconds 2 people die. That's not acceptable. I don't know when the 911 call gets made. I don't know when law enforcement arrives. It's not that they don't want to help but when do they help and I want to keep my kids safe."

Practicing on their home turf is the third and most sophisticated level of the training. Everyone already has a concealed carry permit and has passed the previous classes.

The lead instructor says, "If I heard somebody else shooting in there, I might take care of that first but bottom line, if we don't hear those other shots being fired or anything like that, secure the gun."

The instructors are from John Benner's Tactical Defense Institute in Adams County, Ohio; one of the foremost training facilities in the country. Benner himself is a former SWAT commander.

He said, "We've believed in this for a long time, but never thought we'd be able to pull it off until Sandy Hook. And then everything changed. Now people realize if you don't have somebody in the school that's armed willing and capable you're gonna lose a lot of people."

The cost of training is entirely covered by the Buckeye Firearms Foundation, a pro-gun organization.

Joe Eaton of Buckeye said, "There are teachers who are willing to die for the children we leave with them every day. When they come to us and say we need a solution, we need something that will happen. When we have experts that can provide the training to provide these solutions our foundation is obligated to make this happen for the schools."

There's a lot more on the lesson plan than just firearms. Staff is also given combat casualty training which can be used in the event of any catastrophic event. They're encouraged to have at least a tourniquet and bandages with them at all times.

Each of the students who completes the training at TDI gets a classroom trauma kit and then at the end of the much bigger, much more involved level three training the school system will be presented with a facilities trauma kit which is much more sophisticated. It's all provided by Buckeye Firearms.

Jeff Corder is a veteran deputy and firefighter. Now a school resource officer in a different county, Corder came into the training adamantly opposed to teachers carrying guns in his school.

He said, "I knew I had a gun in the building and I'm a uniformed officer in the building and I didn't want to worry about who else had them. I'm leaving here today to talk with the superintendent and say we need to look at this."

Corder says the intensive training changed his mind, "If they get through a program like this it's a total win win."

John Benner said, "This is not a job that law enforcement can successfully do. Doesn't have anything to do with their training, their desire or anything else; they'd love to do a good job on this stuff, time is the critical factor."

The training is called "FASTER." It stands for Faculty/ Administrator Safety Training and Emergency Response.

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