AXTELL, Texas — In the wake of the Robb Elementary School, some school districts are re-evaluating options to protect their kids. Larger schools may have a police station nearby, or even their own police staff, but schools out in the country face a much longer response.
"In Axtell ISD we have a guaranteed law enforcement response of 25 minutes, though it may be faster" Axtell ISD Superintendent J.R. Proctor said. "We need to protect our kiddos the best way we see fit which is with training and preparedness."
The district wanted to make sure they could still protect kids right away and Proctor said the district started using a School Guardian program several years ago and has been able to arm staff members.
Big Iron, founded by Johnny Price has both a School Safety Officer 'Guardian' Certification program and School Safety Training for teachers. Price held additional training at the school on Thursday.
Proctor was not able to say much about their guardian program for safety reasons.
"Our teachers have the means to intercept a threat. I don't want to go into the means on how we go about that," Proctor said.
6 News was, however, able to see the safety training in action and Price ran teachers though multiple scenarios on how to respond to a threat. In one scenario, staff had a fraction of a minute to correctly barricade a classroom before a mock-intruder attempted to enter the room. Staff also learned to hold doors closed from a distance with an extension cord or other similar tool.
Price also gave staff strategies for fighting back against attackers. Part of that was positioning in the classroom. Another part was to use any other staff members, or ever students, to help.
"If he gets through you he is after the kids too," Price said. "The best thing that you guys have is you have high schoolers. Talk to them. Go high, go low, go for the gun."
Price told teachers having multiple individuals though objects at the attacker can prevent them from focusing a weapon on just one target. In another scenario, teachers barricaded a door and then pelted the attacker with objects in the classroom. In yet another scenario staff had to be mindful of multiple entrances to a classroom.
Each time a different teacher was expected to take charge and tell their "students" (played by other staff members) how to respond.
Proctor told 6 News the district tries to hold training several times a year.
"Every couple of months Johnny or someone is out here to work scenarios or go though intense situations," Proctor said.
Staff members volunteered to be the mock-attacker themselves. Axtell's high school principle got hit with multiple books and other objects during the training and plenty of desks where thrown around to barricade doors. Proctor said the school district would do what must to keep it's kids safe.
"Anything that we do is geared towards tying to intercept any person who is going to come in and harm a child. Any emergency situation we want to respond as quickly as possible. When we have the opportunity to train you have to take advantage of that," Proctor said.
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