New Active Assailant Training Assigned at CBurg

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MCPS Dept. of School Safety and Security

MCPS has introduced active assailant training at all schools including CHS.

Zhubin Bashiri, Editor

In a decade where deadly mass shootings occur more often than ever before, MCPS schools have begun to train on how to act in these situations.

To prepare for a possible active shooter on campus, CHS students and staff participated in training the morning of Nov. 27. The training allowed students and staff to learn about different situations and how to properly decide the best course of action.

Vice principal Michael Smith explained, “It is a result of a number of different things that have happened throughout the country concerning accidents that are happening in schools.”

After working in conjunction with local police (MCPD), county schools trained their teachers prior to the information being distributed to students. CHS staff received training in an October staff meeting. During the recent training, teachers led their students through 6 hypothetical situations to teach the best course of action in each one.

“It’s only going to be effective if people use it,” Smith said. “Now there are a lot of things out there that we ask of students and staff in regards to safety and security.”

After last year’s incident involving a student bringing a gun into CHS, principal Edward Owusu implemented the #seesomethingsaysomething remind messaging system to allow students a safe place to speak up about suspicious or dangerous behavior. Last month’s training adds a level of preparedness that school officials hope will effectively allow schools to keep themselves safe.

Other states are incorporating their own strategies to increase school preparedness in the event of a gunman on campus. Some are even arming their teachers.

According to an NBCNEWs article, Ohio teachers take part in “FASTER Saves Lives” which is a “voluntary training program run by an Ohio-based nonprofit that has taught more than 1,300 school staff members to carry and use firearms since 2013 (Faster stands for Faculty/Administrator Safety Training & Emergency Response).”

While there are no plans to arm MCPS teachers, overall, MCPS officials are taking steps to make school a safer learning environment for their staff and students, but a lot depends on how those people handle a real-life emergency.

“If students, staff, and community members use it for its intended purpose, it’s going to be effective because it’s going to help us keep track on what’s going on and help us better prepare for different things that [potentially] arise over the course on the day,” Smith said.