Thursday 21 November 2019

Teachers' active-shooter firearm training is so popular there’s a waiting list for sheriff's six-week course

Active-shooter firearm training for teachers is so popular in one Utah county that there's a waiting list for the sheriff's department's six-week course, NBC News reported.

Image source: NBC News video screenshot

What are the details?

Among those participating in the Utah County Sheriff's Teachers Academy are school administrators, librarians, custodians — but mostly teachers, the network said.

Image source: NBC News video screenshot

One of the pupils is fourth-grade teacher Jeff Mortensen, NBC News said: “Those parents send those kids to school expecting that they're going to be kept safe. Right now, that's on the teachers."

Image source: NBC News video screenshot

The course covers topics such as first aid for child gunshot victims, self-defense, de-escalation, and shooting targets using sniper rifles, NBC News said.
And if killing those who threaten students' lives is necessary, so be it — the network said those taking the course are instructed on how to fire deadly shots.

Image source: NBC News video screenshot

“If teachers are carrying guns, well, I want them to know how to use a gun," Utah County Sheriff Mike Smith told NBC News, adding that while “everybody hopes it never happens ... hope is a terrible strategy for success."
Following a recent lockdown in Salt Lake City school district, deputies found teachers had left guns unsecured various places including in desks or inside of a purse. Smith was worried that some faculty were already bringing weapons to school around children without any training which is what led him to host the six-week training course. [...]

At least 42 states require schools to conduct safety or security drills such as lock downs, active-shooter or similar safety drills, according to the Education Commission of the States. Utah is one of at least nine states that allow teachers to carry guns in public schools, as long as they are secured and concealed.

But not everybody is down with gun training for teachers

Some school safety experts are not in favor of arming and training educators to take down active shooters.
“Teachers want to be armed with technology and textbooks and the tools to provide instruction," Ken Trump, a school safety expert with the National School Safety and Security Services consulting firm, told the network. "They are not employed in a position to provide public safety services."
He added that "a principal is not qualified to play the role of police chief to make sure that their staff members are properly armed with the right equipment," NBC News said.
In addition, he argued to the network that law enforcement arriving during an active shooter situation won't be able to easily distinguish a teacher with a gun from the attacker with a gun.
But Mortensen is resolute that as a teacher part of his job is to protect students, NBC News said: “They look to me as the person who's going to keep them safe." 

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