Crisis prevention instructors detail methods to diffuse dangerous classroom situations

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OVERLAND PARK, Kan. -- A special education teacher is still recovering after police said she was assaulted by an elementary school student at the Blue Valley Center on Monday. According to the teacher's husband, his wife had bite marks, a concussion, a second head injury and a knee injury.

District officials told FOX 4 their special education teachers have CPI, or crisis prevention institute, training. FOX 4 went to a CPI training class Tuesday to learn more about the process.

The group learned how to force a child to release from biting them.

"You push in because it causes pressure on their mouth that they want to let go and so the idea is that you don't give them the reaction that they are expecting from you," said Heather Saak, a CPI instructor who has worked with special needs children for two decades.

Saak said she feels terrible for the teacher who was injured.

"I am wondering where other people were and how quickly people were able to get to her to help her," she told FOX 4.

Saak said she also wonders how the child was able to get behind the teacher.

Saak told FOX 4 the CPI training course ranges from 8 to 16 hours and that it trains teachers how to safely deescalate a situation with a student. She said CPI only requires a refresher course once a year. However, she said staff at Foster, Adopt, Connect in Independence take it more often for liability reasons. She said the skills are easy to forget if they are not practiced often

District staff told FOX 4 its teachers are only required to take a refresher every two years, or once a year by staff request.

Saak said she can't speculate what happened in the classroom and said she doesn't place blame on the teacher or the student. She said their is always a risk for injury in this field.

The teacher's husband said another teacher tried to come to her aid and was stabbed with a pencil. District staff said no other students were ever in danger.