School can be a terrifying place. Even while teachers and administrators work hard to create a safe space for kids to learn and grow, a horrific trend of mass shootings at schools has made it hard for many youngsters to concentrate on their school work. Students go through drills, where they have to practice hiding and being quiet; even when they are in kindergarten. The kids are scared, and many times teachers and officials are floundering to figure out the best way to keep them safe, but also allay their fears.
Active shooter drills happen a couple of times a year, but in Utah, teachers are undergoing active shooting training as well. Yes, law enforcements are training teachers on how to shoot so they can stop something horrific from happening in their classrooms.
Teachers already have the responsibility of planning lessons and teaching kids the skills they need to succeed in life. During an active situation, the kids look to them to tell them what to do and to shield them from harm. Teachers might be expected to act, and not just act in a selfless, kind manner like the man who stopped a suicidal teen from shooting himself earlier this year; but assess the situation in a brave way that depends of the survival of the students and the teacher.
It's hard to imagine a teacher stepping up in a manner that would hurt and maybe even kill a predator, even if they are doing so to protect others. That is an act that is usually left to law enforcement, and it takes a very different type of personality and trained professional to act on it.
According to an NBC News report on the Salt Lake City training, deputies found that many teachers are bringing guns to campus to protect themselves, but many were not leaving their guns secured in a safe way. Giving them some training on gun safety and shooting, helps to ensure that they aren't creating a more dangerous situation, the trainers said.
Elected officials and parents have engaged in many debates about the safest way to protect young people from this rising trend of school shootings. It sometimes seems impossible to reach any kind of consensus on a solution. But one thing is certain: mass shootings happen all too often in schools. It's a reality teachers and students face every day, and hopefully with this training it won't end up as a tragedy in the future.