The White County School District is focusing on keeping students and faculty safe. Bryan Haley from the Central Office coordinated with Assistant Police Chief Brent Copeland and E-911 Instructor Tammy Gongaware to provide A.L.I.C.E. (Alert, Location, Inform, Counter, Evacuate) active shooter training to every teacher in White County Schools.
The training began Aug. 9 at White County Middle School, then moved to White County High School, on Aug. 10, and finally at White County Board of Education Central office where training continues for eight days.
The training is not designed to scare individuals or teach them to confront or fight an active shooter. It is intended to provide information and advice for individuals if they should encounter that situation. These steps can be taken in any order, but they are the steps an individual should consider in such an event.
Instructors Copeland and Gongaware were knowledgeable and eager to answer questions. The teachers seemed eager to learn and committed to keeping their students safe. Principal Montuka Murray also attended the first class of the day. Assistant Chief Copeland said he and Gongaware have conducted similar courses at churches, but this is the first training of this type in White County Schools. Gongaware said doing nothing is the only wrong thing to do in an active shooter situation.
Though school shootings were practically unheard of before 1997, the number and severity of occurrences continue to remain constant. Ensuring that school faculty receive some training is an essential first step. The federal and state governments have passed many mandates designed to make schools safer. Haley says White County Schools comply with these mandates and endeavor to be proactive regarding safety. In addition to A.L.I.C.E. training, White County Schools employees have participated in multiple hours of Threat Assessment Training. There are Threat Assessment Teams in every school and in the Central Office. Faculty and staff have undergone medical training such as: CPR (CardioPulmonary Resuscitation), AED (Automated External Defibrillator), and Narcan (Naloxone [Narcan] injection is used for emergency treatment of an opioid overdose or a possible overdose. It will temporarily reverse the effects of an opioid medicine.)
White County Schools are determined to be as prepared for any emergency that may arise. Continuing education, training, and drills are vital parts of the plan. From the staff at the Central Office and teachers in the classrooms to the Student Resource Officers and the county’s first responders, keeping White County Schools safe is a priority.
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