Pharos-Tribune

Opinion

October 6, 2013

CEPEDA: Training teachers to fight back

(Continued)

The educators were taught the difference between a revolver and a semi-automatic handgun and how to properly grab each of these types of weapons away from an assailant in order to minimize the potential carnage.

Techniques for rushing a shooter were demonstrated individually and in groups. Makeshift weapons available in average classrooms, such as fire extinguishers, were identified.

That’s right, we’re past simply running and hiding.

A few years ago the conventional wisdom was to lock the classroom door, turn out the lights and try to keep out of the sight of a potential shooter. Today educators from California to Illinois and beyond are increasingly being taught to “Run. Hide. Fight.” in order to have the best chances of getting out with the most survivors in an “active shooter event.”

The new best-practice is noted in the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s “Guide for Developing High-Quality School Emergency Operations Plans,” which says that after trying to run or hide, a third option is to “incapacitate the shooter to survive and protect others from harm.”

According to a popular training video shared in school prep sessions and posted on YouTube by Ready Houston, a project of the Houston Urban Area Security Initiative Community Preparedness Committee, you need to be prepared for the worst — and your survival depends on whether you have a plan.

Of course, the best option is to run or hide if at all possible. But, the video says, if your life is at risk, “Fight, act with aggression, improvise weapons, disarm [the shooter] and commit to taking the shooter down no matter what.”

During their full day of training, the Chicago area school’s staff was also taught how to stop hemorrhaging of both head and extremity wounds with the so-called Israeli bandage, and other first aid techniques. Because, as the video warns, “The first-responders on the scene are not there to evacuate or tend to the injured. They are well-trained and are there to stop the shooter.”

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