Education

Aug 12, 2013 11:52 PM by Steven Albritton

Shots Fired: Acadiana High School Goes Through Mock School Shooting Drill For Teachers

Scott police stormed Acadiana High School Monday, firing shotguns, assault rifles and hand guns, but it was all just a drill. The drill was aimed at giving teachers a first-hand look at a worst case scenario. Administrators planned the drill with the Scott Police Department, but teachers were not informed. They wanted this to be as close to a real life situation as possible.

When it was over, many teachers emerged from their rooms shaken by the gunshots right outside of their doors, but those same teachers say it was an experience they say was worth it.

"I hid in the corner. I really did,. I thought to myself, if I had students in this room, what would you do? It was intense," Acadiana High School teacher Hope Thibodeaux said.

Teachers thought it was going to be your standard school safety meeting led by Scott Police Chief Chad Leger. About 45 minutes after the seminar started, Leger sent the teachers back to their rooms right before the surprise mock shooting started. A stun grenade was tossed into the commons area and a "Code Red" lock down was ordered. Teachers had to quickly lock their doors, turn out the lights and cover windows in their classrooms, as fake gunmen walked the halls firing "blanks" and banging on doors.

"I'm glad we're doing this because it is hard to remember all of those things. We have so much other stuff that is going on. It's good to experience it so that we know first hand what to do," teacher Hannah Broussard said.

No students were present during the drill. It's the second time Acadiana high has used a mock shooting as training.

One student did unexpectedly show up to the school just as the drill was starting. Skip Pizzeck was picking up his schedule when an administrator motioned for him to leave just as he was getting to the door.

"I could see the flashes from the hallways and the classrooms. So, I was thinking "oh my god. Did I really just see this?" And I was thinking in my head, this has to be a drill, but just entertaining the thought, I probably just saw or heard people getting shot," junior Pizzeck said.

Skip's mother, Beth, says she feels more comfortable knowing her son's teachers have an idea of what to do in crisis.

"It was effective. It was frightening. So many kids and it's my child that's walking in on it, but it was effective and I think this is going to have quite an impact on the teachers today, Beth Pizzeck said.

After the drill was over, we found out only one teacher called 9-1-1 to report shots being fired, but Acadiana High School Principal David Lejeune says he was happy with the way his teachers carried out protocol when the code red came over the P.A. System. He says this is training will help in the long run.

"It was a lot louder than I expected. The smell was different. You just don't expect that. It gave you a feeling of what it would actually sound like if there was actually a shooter on the campus so it helped and it helps the teachers recognize what gunfire actually sounds like," Principal Lejeune said.

Scott Police Chief Chad Leger say this type of training allows teachers to experience as close to a real life situation as possible, so they know how to react quickly and effectively.

"The bottom line is to raise their awareness and to make sure that they get the best training that we can provide them from law enforcement to make sure that they're prepared not when, but if this were to occur," Chief Leger said.

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