GLADSTONE, Mo. — Teachers across the metro are getting ready to go back to school. They’re preparing their lesson plans but also how they plan to keep students safe.
In the North Kansas City School District, that includes active shooter training. The entire district will go through the process Aug. 9-10. The training gives them hands-on experience to prepare for the worst case scenario they could ever face in the classroom.
On Thursday, teachers filled the library at Antioch Middle School ready to learn. They watched a video going through all the things they would be acting out later that day. Things like how to barricade doors, using items in the classroom to improvise, and techniques we aren’t able to talk about in this article.
They all wanted to make sure they are prepared for the worst.
Then teachers went to work in simulations like intruders trying to come into their classroom — or even if the shooter is right in front of them.
“When they start their school day next week, they`re better prepared to make their students schools and communities safer, and I think they`re now better problem solvers in a critical incident,” said Rob Mclees, NKCSD director of safety and security.
McIees wants to make sure they can think critically in critical moments, whether they have to get out of the room, keep someone out or even take someone down.
“We shouldn’t have to have this happen, but we have to be prepared,” 8th grade science teacher Toby Brosnahan sid. “We’ve seen it on the news. We’ve seen everything like that, and I want the kids to be safe.”
“When I was in school we were worried about tornadoes,” 8th grade science teacher Melanie Edens said. “This is definitely a different environment than I grew up in. It’s unfortunately a reality of the society that we`re in now and having to deal with.”
The teachers are taking what they learn in training into the classroom and making sure kids know what to do as well.
“So we’re going to talk about procedures,” Edens said. “We’re going to talk about things to keep them safe. Let them know some of the things that have changed from last year, but I think unfortunately it’s just something they’re going to accept.”
“I felt empowered a little bit more,” Brosnahan said. “I felt like I had the tools to help keep myself safe. We ran through it, and actually going through it gave me a little more confidence.”
Although it wasn’t their ideal day on campus, the teachers said it may be their most important one.
“I think all schools should go through it,” Brosnahan said. “Whether you’re in a small school or a big city, this could happen anywhere.”
In total, 35 locations and more than 100 educators in the district went through the training.