New Bremen Faculty Prepare for Active Shooter

Staff Writer

On Friday, during their inservice training, faculty with New Bremen School District received some hands on training about what to do if an active shooter came on campus. The training came hours after media announced another shooting that happening on the other side of the world in New Zealand at two mosques in Christchurch.
According to the FBI, an active shooter is defined as, “one or more individuals actively engaged in killing or attempting to kill people in a populated area.” In a report they released in April 2018, there were 50 shootings that were defined as active shooter incidents in 2016 and 2017. They noted that excluded from the report were incidents that were gang-related, drug-related and gun-related incidents that didn’t put others at risk — for example, the accidental discharge of a firearm.
Of the 50, seven occurred in educational environments — not including higher education — that resulted in five people being killed and 19 wounded. Two incidents occurred at elementary schools, one at a junior/senior high school and four at high schools.
At the inservice, faculty went over ALICE — alert, lockdown, inform, counter and evacuate — with members of several local law enforcement and fire and rescue agencies.
While discussing the lockdown section of ALICE, Det. Doug Burke with the Sheriff’s Office told faculty that they should lockdown and barricade the door when necessary, but if they see a chance to escape, they should take it. He said that often times people may feel safer in their locked classrooms and that is why they stay.
“Look, I got it, I understand but if you have good information that the shooter, or the threat, is on the other side of the building and you guys can get out of your classrooms and get out of the building, get the hell out of dodge,” he explained. “Don’t stick around in here because you’re a sitting duck; you’re a sitting duck. If you can get out and get to a safe area, get out.”
If the classroom has a window, he told teachers to break the window if that’s what it takes to get out of danger.
Getting out was one point one teacher was certain might be her plan of attack in an active shooter situation. Vocational agriculture teacher Maria Homan noted afterward that because her high school classroom has a door to the outside, she would likely consider that an option if she needed to.
“Of course we have an exit and I think that’s a positive and thinking about ‘OK when would I stay and lockdown and when would I get the kids out,’” Homan said. “I think that if I can get them out, that is what I would try to do.”

Read the full story in Monday's Leader.