Today for our collaboration meeting, our principal had us divert from our usual grade level meetings and meet as a faculty. He introduced us to our city's S.W.A.T. officer. Since the horrible ordeal at Sandy Hook Elem. our local police department has been trying to think of ways they can better protect, educate, and help our schools and teachers. They gave us some wonderful information, advice, and a great experience. It had been brought to the police departments attention that many teachers may not have actually heard or smelled gun fire before. This could prove valuable and save many lives if a situation ever came up. The school's office may not have time to warn us for a lock down but if we hear and recognize what is going on we can immediately go into lock down. I've often wondered if I'd be able to recognize gun fire. I've often wondered if my classroom would be too noisy to even hear it. Well, after today's experience I don't think I'll have a problem.
I've grown up around guns my whole life. My dad is an X Marine and he felt it important that his children know how to handle a gun. I attended gun safety courses and have shot several different kinds of gun. My husband and boys are deer hunters and I've even gone hunting with them myself. I know there are many out there that don't share my views on guns but that's another subject. Anyhow my point is, I've heard a lot of gun fire in my days but today was different. I've never heard gun fire in a school before and let me say it was different than what I thought it would be. Our school is a two-story building with a huge staircase opening in the center of the building. The echo of the gun fire what deafening and unmistakable. The S.W.A.T. office went to each doorway and fired off a couple of rounds (blanks of course). We were instructed to be in our rooms doing our normal work. Of course NO STUDENTS were there. It was also interesting how the smell of gun powder filtered throughout the ventilation system pretty quickly. It was a very valuable experience for our entire faculty.
Our local police department has also planned to have the officers more visible at the schools. Our community consists of 13 schools, 1 high school, 2 junior highs, and 10 grade schools. They are unable to place an office at each school because of the cost. So our Police Chief decided his officers would visit the schools on a regular basis to do their paper work. They have lots of reports to write so they come to the schools, find a quite place and do their paper work. We never know when they are coming or how long they'll be there but their presence is very appreciated. The kiddos love seeing a police officer and enjoy getting to know them. I appreciate our police department and the efforts they are making to keep our schools and children safer.
I'd love to hear what measures your police department and district have taken to make your school safer.
My prayers go out to all those affect by the horrible violence and tragedies of this past week in Boston and Texas. May the Lord bring strengthen and give peace to all affected.