JMCSS faculty train for active shooter situation

JACKSON, Tenn. — “Lock down! Lock down!” These were the first words teachers heard Wednesday at their safety training session.

This was the first simulation that Jackson-Madison County teachers experienced Wednesday morning.

There are 23 schools in Madison County. Administrators want to make sure their teachers are prepared.

“We as safety coordinators want to do what’s right and protect all of our children,” said Amanda Barbham, a teacher at Thelma Barker Elementary.

The instructors showed clips from previous school shootings and how they have applied safety techniques they learned. Two of the main topics for Wednesday’s training were officer workers and bus safety.

Just as faculty and staff started learning their new techniques on how to keep their hallways safe, they were immediately put into an active shooter situation.

Teachers were surprised with an active shooter simulation to see how they would handle the stress.

“They realized quickly some of the things that they didn’t need to do, which helps reinforce some things we’ll be training them on today,” said Leah Gray, director of Program Innovation at Jackson State Community College.

The instructors told the teachers that emergency situations like these are never black and white, but they will give them the tools they need to handle anything.

“I want to teach them how not to freeze, how to make good decisions, because no matter what happens, if someone gets hurt they will look at it as a bad decision,” Gray said.

They want parents to know that this is just step one but is a step in the right direction.