Southeastern Ohio is just the latest are of schools sending teachers and faculty through an intense three day FASTER (Faculty/Administrator Safety Training & Emergency Response) course. The course is designed to prepare teachers and faculty to respond to active shooters in their schools. FOX 8 reported on a group of teachers going through the course and noted the variety of simulations they were being placed in.
Among the drills included classroom training, active shooting drills with airsoft pistols, and how to safely communicate with law enforcement and other faculty.
The course culminates in a force-on-force scenario drill with participants switching back and forth from the role of attacker to the role of faculty. It also incorporates a live fire portion on a range to ensure teachers are able to accurately and effectively respond with lethal force.
via FOX 8
“It was intense,” said Walt, the superintendent from the Southeastern Ohio school district that sent its administrative team. “It was very intense, but it has to be in order for you to take it seriously.”
In Ohio, firearms are forbidden unless by specifically authorized personnel. School districts are allowed to specify the criteria that they feel is sufficient for a faculty member to maintain a firearm on his or her person.
Armed Teachers Not An Uncommon Occurrence
The director of the FASTER program, Jim Irvine, estimates there may be a dozen such districts whom have authorized teachers and administrators to carry. In his view, this shouldn’t be viewed as something strange or even foreign.
“Armed protection is not controversial. Our president’s kids have them; CEOs have them; Hollywood celebrities have them,” Irvine said. “They pay a lot of money for people to make them safer.”
Some states are more strict with their requirements for who can be armed. Wisconsin just recently allowed non-uniformed law enforcement to carry on school grounds. It was a decision that Pioneer Press believed would help teachers and students have a better first line of defense against an active shooter.
But is the best approach to allow non-uniformed and off-duty police officers onto campus with firearms or would it be to prepare teachers to respond?
Events like Sandy Hook serve as a stark reminder that by the time officers arrive, it may already be too late. Having teachers prepared for the unlikely but horrific event that a live shooter or gunman comes to school seems to be a great approach.
In Utah, any teacher with a concealed carry permit is allowed to bring his or her firearm to school. There is no specific provision requiring them to undergo any training or simulation prior. In Ohio, it seems that training is part of the certification process by the district for a teacher or administrator to carry a concealed firearm onto campus.
Which of the two is likely to produce the best results? That is something that history will have to determine.
Are you in favor of more teachers and administrators carry concealed firearms to school? Tell us about it in the comments section below.