Really reluctant kudos to the Eagan Police Department in Minnesota for hosting a “Teacher’s Academy”, where classroom teachers participated in simulations that replicated a tactical response to an active shooter in school – from the perspective of the police officer. Teachers used plastic guns to respond like police officers to a virtual school shooting. Other activities included a brief jolt from a Taser, all in the hopes of giving teachers “perspective on policing techniques”. Let’s look at a few of the take aways here:
- Let’s educate the educators first: While any school safety training may be helpful, when in the world are we going to provide training to teachers that is education-based? How about giving teachers an educator’s perspective on what they can do in a school shooting? Do the teachers who now have a “policeman’s perspective” have any idea what they are supposed to do as educators in an active shooter or other crisis event?
- Turnabout is fair play: We already have an overwhelming law enforcement perspective on school violence. It’s good to know what law enforcement faces when they respond, but how about giving law enforcement some education-based training to give them some “perspective” on what teachers are dealing with?
- Shame on us: While I certainly can think of more effective training models for teachers, at least the Eagan Police Department is willing to spend time and resources on training teachers. Can schools say the same?
Can we all agree that we need to train teachers on what to do in a crisis before we spend time and money giving teachers a law enforcement perspective on school violence?