Teachers, administrators, law enforcement officials and students alike gave up a bulk of their Saturday to learn and process what to do if an intruder entered their building.
Teachers, administrators, law enforcement officials and students alike gave up a bulk of their Saturday to learn and process what to do if an intruder entered their building. Camdenton Police Department along with the Missouri State Highway Patrol and other law enforcement agencies hosted active shooter training for Camdenton R-III staff members at Camdenton Middle School.
"Camdenton School District has always been proactive in training, especially in training for active shooter, intruder scenarios at the school," Camdenton City Police and School Security officer Chris Williams said.
Williams was instrumental in organizing Saturday's training and said that he hopes that the day of training gives the faculty and staff a foundation to build upon. He said he hopes that if attendees ever find themselves in an active shooter situation that they will 'revert back to muscle memory.'
Staff members spent the morning hours learning what to do if a dangerous intruder situation arises. Law enforcement personnel reminded the attendees to stay focused on what is proven, tested and reliable. Intruder drills are to be routine, yet diversified. Drills should be unannounced and progressively challenging.
Instructors told attendees that lock-downs are a viable option but are not always the most effective tool to get students and staff out of harm's way. Staff was told to plan for the variables such as what to do if a student is out of the classroom when a lock-down occurs.
One attendee spoke up and said, "We know what to do but our students do not know."
Law enforcement reminded the attendees that communication is key not just between teachers and administrators but with the students in each classroom, as well.
"Everybody has to be completely sure of the drill," one law enforcement official said.
While teachers were being taught best practices by law enforcement officials, officers were in training with Highway Patrol troopers.
After hours of training, all attendees joined together for an active shooter simulation. Some staff members watched on as others joined in and played the roles of wounded victims and screaming bystanders. A handful of minors also joined in and played the roles shooters and fearful students.
Staff members involved were positive when the training concluded.
"You always go to something like this and learn something new," Camdenton R-III Transportation Director Gary Cuendet said.
For eighth grade science teacher Amy Larrington, attending the training was a way for her and other staff members to be a part of bigger picture.
"I've been teaching long enough to have been teaching before Columbine and now in the new era of being a teacher so I've seen how important it is that we start to look at ways to protect our students," she said. "It's not just a matter of it being up to the police or the first responders, it is up to every one of us as classroom teachers to prepare students for what might happen."
Real firearms were not used in the simulation.