Despite Shootings, Colo. Schools Not on Same Page With Safety Plans

Lauren Williams's picture
Thursday, February 14, 2013

Despite the tragedy at Columbine High School nearly 14 years ago, there is still no statewide standard for training students and teachers to respond to a gunman, a CALL7 Investigation has found. Moreover, some schools, particularly those in rural areas, often provide little in the way of drills because of budget and personnel constraints.

"There isn't a day that goes by that at some point, especially with the things you see every day on the news, that, [i ask] 'Who is going to be that person who comes into my building?'" said Tom Arensdorf, superintendent of the Arriba-Flagler School District in farm country in the Eastern Plains. "You have nightmares about that because it can happen anywhere."

Several administrators in rural districts told CALL7 Investigator John Ferrugia they would consider arming and training teachers if state law would allow it.

But experts say expecting teachers to be able to respond like police officers in a crisis could be dangerous as even trained professionals can make fatal errors during such a confrontation. In addition, security experts worry that law enforcement officers responding to a school shooting could confuse a gun-toting teacher with an assailant.

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