Teachers drill on shootings
Kansas schools are not immune to threats of school shootings.
Just this month, two such incidents took place.
A shooting March 2 near Whittier Elementary School, Kansas City, sent a bullet into the school.
The day before, authorities in 11 cities across the state received bogus reports of shooters in schools.
A year ago, four Marion County schools were closed because of a call to Missouri authorities about a plan to bring a gun to an unspecified school.
Marion Elementary staff members received instruction Monday on how to react to a school shooter. Afterward, their instructor, Hillsboro police chief Jessey Hiebert, tested them by walking the halls, and entering classrooms and firing blanks from a pistol.
Hiebert said teachers should think about more than themselves with a shooter in the building.
“We are not fighting,” he said. “We are going to introduce safety.”
A shooter should be engaged and countered only when lives are in danger, he said.
The goal, when engaging, is to disrupt the shooter.
Hiebert gave examples of non-physical interventions that stopped some school shooters by interrupting their plans and overloading their thought processes.
Those interactions have included a student yelling “Stop!” at the shooter, water bottles being thrown at the shooter, and a teacher attacking the shooter with an ink pen. Objects not intended to be weapons can be used against a shooter.
“The shooter will not be expecting or prepared for that,” Hiebert said. “You might not have pepper spray, but grab a fire extinguisher and spray him in the face with it.”
A backpack with heavy books in it, worn on the front of the body, makes a decent bulletproof vest, he said.
If staff members are close encounter with to a shooter, they could swarm him or her, with one of them grabbing the weapon and others dragging him or her to the floor. He warned them not to pick up the weapon, however.
“Responding officers are looking for an armed shooter,” Hiebert said.
Hiebert noted that most shooting victims survive.
On Feb. 25, 2016, Adam Miller was shot four times with an AK-47 in an attack at Excel Industries in Hesston.
“Adam took four, and he’s still alive,” Hiebert said.
Although classroom doors in the elementary school routinely are unlocked during the day, Hiebert encourages teachers to keep them locked all day.
Hiebert began teaching active shooter training 10 years ago and started teaching classes throughout the county six years ago. He taught active shooter training last week at Aulne Bible Church.
Last modified March 9, 2023