‘In case of emergency’: School safety training to handle potential threats

‘In case of emergency’: School safety training to handle potential threats
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Staff members at local school districts are training for any situation that could threaten the safety of students, including active shooters.

“We can put (in) a million door locks and a million cameras but human action is what is most critical,” Leia Esser, director of student services, operations, accountability for Madison Metropolitan School District (MMSD) said. “What we do as humans is what is key in an emergency.”

For the first time this year, MMSD is using the Standard Response Protocol, created by The “I Love U Guys” Foundation to have a uniform classroom response to any incident.

Teachers are getting ready to head back to school after Labor Day weekend, which means practicing safety procedures. @MMSDschools has posters to remind staff and students what to do to stay safe. #News3Now pic.twitter.com/u9QMIWJ3PR

— Gabriella Bachara (@GabbyBachara) August 30, 2019

“Every single building based staff person, secretaries, custodians, food service, teachers, principals are now trained and have the common language,” Esser said.

MMSD has plans to train students, first responders, the community and the media on this protocol during the school year, according to Esser.

Middleton Cross Plains Area School District (MCPASD) is preparing staff to be able to make calls to protect students in any situation.

“It’s more than just locking down,” Perry Hibner, a spokesperson for MCPASD, said. “The reality is we want our staff and students to feel like they can leave a scene rather than staying in a room if that is the appropriate choice to make.”

Hibner said it is important to make students feel comfortable and safe in the classroom.

“Our goal is to try to make people as comfortable as possible about these things and be prepared, but at the same time, we also don’t want to make them so anxious that they’re constantly worrying about it because the reality is we want to make our schools as safe and inviting as possible,” Hibner said.

Both district officials said training at the beginning of a school year isn’t enough, so they will continue to practice procedures throughout the year.

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