District to conduct school shooter exercise

Published: Thursday, March 6, 2014 at 10:23 AM.

In addition, the exercise aims to highlight areas where district policies might be lacking and provide insight into questions and issues that policies may not anticipate.

“This is really to look at the big picture,” McFarland said. “What happens when something like this comes into the school? They are going to give us recommendations to update our policies.

“The main focus, in fact, is for Gulf District Schools to review its current policies and practice a live scenario to be better prepared for such an adverse situation. The exercise will identify vulnerabilities and how quickly first responders are equipped to assist our schools.”

The charge for the school site when a shooter enters is to lock down the school prior to the arrival of emergency management, McFarland said, noting the crucial minutes between a shooter’s presence and the arrival of assistance.

How do teachers and staff secure the students? What are procedures for silencing phones and other technological devices that might mark the presence of potential targets for the shooter?

In addition, McFarland said, the exercise will provide a learning experience for such aspects of the event as where to place media responding to the event and what would be the procedure for securing bodies and potential victims.

“This is to better prepare use in case something like this happens,” McFarland said. “That is our responsibility, to assure student safety.

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