Valley teachers take action against school shootings

As school districts prepare for the start of another school year, teachers in schools across the Valley are being asked to consider how they can take action against a school shooter.

Teachers are being shown a short training video developed by the Coyote Crisis Campaign that includes a new plan of attack.

It all stems from the Department of Homeland Security’s updated directives that include "run, hide, and fight."

Coyote Crisis Executive Director Deb Roepke admits the video created with police departments can be shocking and many teachers are asking to see it twice, because they were so taken back the first time.

“The goal isn’t to frighten them; it’s to get their attention. We want them to think outside the ‘lockdown’ box,'"  explains James Dorer, the Head of Security with the Scottsdale Unified School District.

Dorer, a former police officer, portrays the school shooter in the simulated event and tells ABC15 30 school districts and several police agencies were consulted in the making of the video.

The video “Active Shooter Action Plan” focuses on getting teachers to start thinking of ways to protect their students apart from the current "lockdown" plan.

“We want them to realize there are other options. Run would be evacuate. It’s hard to run away with 35 kindergartners, but we want teachers to know that’s an option if it’s the best option for them,” said Dorer.

One example Dorer gives to teachers during the training is during recess. If a shooter is roaming the hallways and the school is locked down while a classroom is out on the playground, they want instructors to know they don’t have to come back to the classroom, but rather run with their class off property if possible.

The video also goes over looking for an alternate exit, if one is close by, to get out of the school.

It instructs teachers to tell students to take nothing with them, and hold their hands up for arriving officers to see.

Dorer says for an officer, students evacuating isn’t as confusing as it seems.

“If I'm seeing people running down the hall, as a police officer what I'm looking for is what is down the hall. What are they running from?"

“Hide” is the basic lockdown now used in schools across the state and still considered the first option of defense.

“Fight , well that doesn't translate well, “admits Dorer.

The fight part of the video is aimed at teachers taking action, any action to protect their students.

“Taking action may be that they're running away with their kids, it may be that they're barricading their doors differently that they have never thought of before. It may be that they're breaking out a window and dropping their students out the window to safety. It may be that they're fighting back, those are choices they have to make,” said Dorer.

Scottsdale Unified School District teachers will watch the video next week, but it’s being shown in several districts across the Valley.

Deb Roepke tells ABC15 the video has had positive reviews, but they are making some adjustments.

Administrators have asked for a police officer or security officer to be present during the viewing to answer questions and they’d like teachers to see it twice, since the first time can be a bit shocking.

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