SAVANNAH, Ga. – From 2000 to 2015 there have been 199 active shooter situations. One of those the Columbine High School Massacre of 1999. That is just one example campus police with Savannah-Chatham County Schools used to show teachers what could happen.
“The school does disaster planning and part of that disaster planning is we do critical incident events every year to prepare for what’s going to happen,” Ron Priest, the SCCPSS police captain, said.
In December 2016 they added something new called Avoid, Deny and Defend. A three step process put together by Texas State University.
“When Texas State gave us the opportunity to do these events, to do these training’s we thought it was a great opportunity for us to get our officers involved beyond just the tabletops and the functional,” Priest said.
Schools have been preparing for shootings, but now the training will be as routine as fire drills.
Campus police believe adding this new process can only help prepare school faculty that much more to protect your kids.
“It’s an extension of what we normally do,” Priest said. “We have active shooter tabletops and we do active shooter functionals, which every school does. It’s an extension upon that to give them some training prior to their annual functional to have a chance to go over the things we want them to do.”
Things like avoiding the shooter, denying them access to the classroom and defending the kids and themselves at all costs.
“Crazy doesn’t have to show up as an active shooter it could be a lot of different things,” Priest said. “As long as they’re thinking about the concepts of avoid, deny, defend and they’re pushing that on to their students is what they should be doing.”
Campus police say they’ve reached almost every school in the district.
Students in grades K-12 will run through scenarios by the end of February.
School officials want to remind parents that this is not because of any threat made to the school. This is to help prepare faculty in the event that it did.