Thursday, Dec 12, 2013
Williamson County Schools Train to Respond to Active Shooters
MARION -- Williamson County emergency officials are teaming with school administrators to prepare for the possibility an active shooter.
We've seen it happen all too many times-shooters taking down innocent school children. That's why Williamson County leaders are taking proactive steps in the fight against school violence.
"You get the shooting at Northern Illinois University, you get Lone Oak in Kentucky, and those are just in your neighbors and you really start to realize it could happen," said Johnston City Superintendent Terry Milt.
Milt says he faced a similar situation at a metro-east school in March 2012.
"We received a phone call at 11:12 in the morning that basically said you need to get your kids out of your building in 15 minutes," he explained.
Milt says local police secured the building and the students evacuated safely but it could have been worse.
Now Williamson County school officials, police, and first responders are training to lead their students through a crisis they hope never happens.
It's part of a new act to the School Safety Drill Law that requires every school district to work with police, like Deputy Brian Murrah, to train for a shooting.
"Where we can actually sit with the teachers and talk about what we want them to do and why we want them to do them that way and then let them ask questions," said Murrah.
Thanks to Tuesday's meeting, Regional-Superintendent Matt Donkin says many schools and police now have a date in place to practice a drill they hope never becomes a reality.
"Just like in any activity we do, you want practice to train yourself on how you would react and think of scenarios, what might work, what wouldn't work so you can call on those things in a hurry," said Donkin.
According to the new law a drill must take place each year in every building where students are taught.
Whether or not students should be involved in the drills will be at the discretion of each school district and local law enforcement.
Schools around the state already hold six yearly safety drills for evacuations and severe weather.
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