LOMETA, Texas – Kids are headed back to school in the next few weeks, and teachers are now preparing their classrooms.
However, some are also training for situations which do not involve learning.
Faculty at Lometa schools trained for an active shooter situation on Thursday. Staff are already able to carry guns on campus if they have the proper training.
The sign posted out front clearly states they are ready to use whatever force necessary to protect their school’s 290 students.
“You’ve got to make it at least that 12 minutes or so before police get there. You’ve got to survive,” says Johnny Price, a certified school safety instructor.
Teachers learned how to identify unusual behavior and situations, and to not treat them lightly. But if an active shooter situation does happen, they should use everything they can to stop them from getting into their classrooms.
“This is our first day with the staff, but we wanted to set the tone that this is important to us,” says Lometa School Principal Michael Sibberson.
“It’s so much more than the Guardian Program. Our whole staff needs to know what to do if a situation arises, and that’s what this training is for,” says Lometa ISD Superintendent David Fisher.
The Guardian Program allows teachers with training to bring guns on campus.
“I think there is a message being sent to potential predators that come onto campus that we’re not going to tolerate it. We’re going to do our best to defend our children,” Sibberson says.
Teachers got the chance to simulate a shooter situation in their own classrooms, and practice how to prepare their students and keep them calm.
“I hope we never have to use it. I hope it never becomes an issue or a problem, but we have the training. So that if it does, they’ll be ready for it,” Fisher says.
Price says if teachers only learn one thing today, it should be to pay attention.
“Awareness is really what this whole program is about. It’s paying attention to everything going on in your immediate world, outside the door, outside the classroom, also in the classroom,” Price says.
Price is traveling around to several different area schools at the beginning of this school year, as he has in the past. Next, he will be doing the same training in Jewett.