Taking Charge of School Safety

Hannah Hamelback, Features

After too many heartbreaking tragedies that happened across the country last school year, Bourbon County Schools took action and precaution. Starting on July 30, and ending on August 1, teachers across our district spent hours training for the possibility that one of those tragedies could happen to us.

The day began with Kentucky State Police providing specific training for the morning session, giving teachers options for consideration in the event of facing a shooter.

In the afternoon, everyone was placed in a realistic scenario of what could happen in the case of a school shooting. This was for the teachers and other employees to know how the situation would actually unfold, and how to properly handle the shooter and keep students safe. One classroom was set up for gunfire and how to respond, the second was an active shooter in the hallway, and the third was an active shooter in the classroom.

The KSP offers schools four levels of assistance to develop their own action plan. Depending on the need of a district, and what their administrators prefer, schools can choose any one or all four levels of assistance being offered. Bourbon County was trained for the fourth level, which is the most intense and severe level.

When asked what the most important thing she learned from the training was, Mrs. Roe answered, “That we as teachers can overpower a shooter and protect our students as long as we stay calm and act with intent.” She was also asked if she was comfortable doing the training, and she responded, “It was an uncomfortable experience for everyone. No one can truly be comfortable with the sounds and scenarios that took place, but I was glad that I got to experience it and learn from it. It was a challenging day with lots of emotions and reactions that we weren’t prepared for.” After the training, the biggest lesson Mrs. Francis learned was, “Be prepared for anything and everything. Have a plan, and don’t be afraid to put the plan into action.”

For numerous reasons, both teachers agreed that every school should receive the training our faculty members received. When asked, Mrs. Roe answered, “Yes, it is a very scary and long day, but it clarifies what you would actually do in a shooting.  Luckily we have never had a shooting, so for us as teachers, it is all just a guessing game as to what would happen the day of. Now we are more prepared and better equipped to actually handle the event. It also replaced a lot of outdated procedures, that are not in the best interest of the school.”

Overall, the training Bourbon County Schools faculty members participated in was obviously beneficial in more ways than one. Our students should no doubt feel safer in school thanks to the KSP and our hardworking teachers.