SCCPSS holds active shooter training at Southwest Middle School

SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - Teachers for Savannah-Chatham County Public Schools are getting some valuable training from school district police Tuesday.

It could make all the difference when it comes to protecting your children while they're in the classroom.

Active shooter training was held at Southwest Middle School, where the SCCPSS police captain gave the presentation to a room full of teachers.

His presentation based all of the tips and knowledge shared around one thing - what to do if crazy walks into the room.

And by crazy, he was talking about what to do should an active shooter situation come to one of Savannah-Chatham County's schools.

Avoid, deny, defend was a common theme in the training. The police instructor emphasized how important it is for teachers to understand where the closest; safest exits are in each classroom or other parts of the building.

If necessary, the school staff learned the best ways to place barricades and when to defend themselves if need be.

"When things start getting heated, commonsense goes out the window. So we want to prepare them the same way we do with tornado drills, fire drills, and we explain that to them. We explain that we want you to be prepared by training these things. And so, the C.R.A.S.E. training is just an extension of our normal active shooter table tops and functional's that we're asking the schools to do," said Captain Ron Priest, SCCPSS board of education PD.

The school district wants this type of training, for an active shooter, to be as routine and familiar as tornado and fire drills for school faculty and staff.

It's called C.R.A.S.E. training, civilian response to active shooter event. According to the Board of Education captain giving the presentation, roughly a quarter of active shooter events happen in schools.

Southwest Middle staff were schooled on the techniques and situational awareness they'll need to keep themselves and their students safe.

One teacher said she'll take the things she learned at Tuesday's workshop to the classroom and beyond.

"Stepping outside of an educational standpoint, looking at it from being in a restaurant, being, even outside, in the mall... what are you going to do, where are your exits? One of the first things I do when I sit down (at a restaurant), is I am thinking about what I am going to eat, not about where my exits are. But I can promise you from now on I am going to be looking around to see where my exits are," said Kristy McCarty, Southwest Middle teacher.

The school district does say the drills are not being added as a result of any perceived threat to our schools, just as an extra level of preparation and safety.

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