Session trains teachers, police on active shooter situations

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In part of the manhunt in Boston, police say an MIT police officer is shot dead by the marathon bombers on campus.

That comes less than a month after the school shared some improvements to its emergency response plan.

According to MIT’s campus news website, a few weeks ago the academic council announced upgrades to its Emergency Preparedness Training Program.

It also highlighted communication between all parts of the campus community.

Here in Kansas, officials are also stressing the importance of communication.

High school English teacher Sarah Wilcox knows the curriculum, and she knows how to reach students of different backgrounds, but when it comes to school safety, she’s not so confident.

“I still have a lot of unanswered questions and certain scenarios that I still don’t feel comfortable with,” Wilcox says.

A joint training session brings both Kansas teachers and law enforcement together to talk about different scenarios including an active shooter situation.

“It is interesting to see both sides of it, them knowing how we would react, us knowing how they would react,” Wilcox says.

Those involved like Lt. Robert Keener, say that’s the point.

“The biggest thing we’re trying to accomplish is to get them and their local communities to communicate with each other, school officials, law enforcement officials, fire departments, EMS, city managers, to prepare everything they can for these types of events,” Keener says.

But there’s only so much preparing you can do.

“With all the different schools, locations, populations, the way the school is set up, law enforcement and everything, we can’t really say when this happens, this is what you do,” says Keener.

“So they just stressed to have a plan set in motion before something happens,” Wilcox adds.

While Wilcox says she wouldn’t feel confident having a gun in her classroom, she would feel confident with a plan of action.

“I know what to do now and what questions to bring up in discussion with my building and administrators,” she says.

Lt. Keener spoke briefly about teachers having guns in the classroom. He says if a school did choose to equip teachers with firearms, he suggests having instructors first go through intense training, similar to the type police officers go through.

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