High school trains for the American epidemic: School shootings

SUMMERS COUNTY, WV (WOAY) – The possibility of an active shooter situation at one of our schools is unfortunately something we all have to be ready for.

Today, police and first responders created a very real active shooter situation at Summers County High School to show our educators what to do, where to go and what to watch for.

What some may call an American epidemic, school shooting rates continue to climb in the United States.

Shots right out in the hallways of Summers County High School. This isn’t a real situation, but rather a critical incident training course, where educators and first responders get to see, hear and feel what it would be like to be hunted down by an active shooter.

Sargeant T.J. Cochran with Summers County Sheriff’s Department said, “Active shooting has been on a steady increase in the past years. The FBI statistics are way up. These types of trainings help people prepare and plan.”

The number of school shootings between 2018 and 2020 are in the triple digits, with 2019 being the highest since 1970 with 118 incidents.

“If you see something, report it. Always be prepared to do what it takes to get out of a situation.”

The Summers County Sheriff’s Department set up a live scenario of a school shooting, where everyone reacted as if the scenario was real… Running and hiding in closets and classrooms; anywhere they could take cover.

Elementary school teacher Kristin Richmond said, “It’s a little bit scary. It’s a lot of responsibility to think you could be in a situation where your job is to protect the children, but it also makes you feel a little more proactive. You’re planning and preparing yourself to be able to handle that situation if it does happen.”

Blank rounds were shot into the air giving a more realistic feel to the scenario, as the suspect walks the hallways looking for victims around the school.

“I’ve done this 30 years.” Cochran said, “I’ve seen a lot. The thought of losing a family member of a child, or any child for something useless. It’s really just disturbing.”

The Sandy Hook Promise Organization says 93% of our school shootings are premeditated. As of June this year, the United States has already had 79 school shootings.

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