JCPS prepares teachers, staff for school year with active shooter training
JEFFERSON CITY - Teachers and staff spent their last day before the new school year not just preparing lesson plans - they also took part in active shooter training.
"I don't want kids to not be able to come to school and not feel safe. We need to tell these kids why we are doing what we are doing," said Jefferson City Police Department Sgt. Jason Payne to the faculty and staff at West Elementary on Wednesday.
The active shooter training will happen at every single school across the district.
Frank Underwood, transportation safety and security coordinator for JCPS, said this is the first year they brought the training into each individual school.
"It's important to narrow these numbers down so we get good questions, we get good answers, and get our teachers in the buildings that they are going to be working at so they are very familiar with what they need to do," he said.
Underwood started the training by expressing to the staff the importance of it and stating, "this is your building, your kids and your hallways."
He said the drills learned in the training will be done four times a year, once per quarter at all of the schools.
Sgt. Jason Payne led the interactive training by running through different scenarios and constantly asking the teachers what they would do in certain situations.
Underwood said the interactive portion of the training is vital for the staff.
"It gets them to thinking about what they need to do on a daily basis to make sure their kids are safe and ready for learning every day," he said.
The training highlighted the ALICE approach – Alert, Lock Down, Inform, Counter, Evacuate.
Sgt. Payne emphasized "Evacuate" the most to the West Elementary Staff: get out and away as fast as possible.
"You'd be surprised what your body does in a fight or flight situation," he said.
Underwood said the training has no stop time.
"Time is not of essence in safety and or security. We are going to take the time that it takes to make sure everyone understands exactly what needs to happen," he said.
Underwood said safety is always JCPS's top priority and it is continuously progressing.
"We are here to teach and let these kids know and we want to do that in the safest and securest environment possible," he said.