(ANTIMEDIA) Weld County, CO — Active shooter drills in schools are becoming more commonplace nationwide, and now even teachers are joining in for firearms training under Colorado law. A Second Amendment group says it’s “the first time we’ve taken it this far.”
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An obscure Colorado law is about to become much more well known. It allows teachers with concealed carry permits to double as security personnel during emergencies, as designated by their school’s district or board.
On Thursday in Weld County, 17 school administrators, staff, and teachers from all over the Centennial State are wrapping up three days of gun and medical training, local ABC News affiliate KRDO reported.
“There’s been a provision in the law for years that allows this but it’s the first time we’ve taken it this far,” Laura Carno, founder of Coloradans for Civil Liberties (CCL), which organized the training, told KRDO.
An Ohio group known as FASTER, for Faculty/Administrator Safety Training and Emergency Response, is providing the training. The cost of $1,000 per trainee was covered by CCL, which promotes the Second Amendment, and Denver-based libertarian think tank, the Independence Institute, according to KRDO.
Some of the highest-profile mass shootings have taken place in Colorado, most famously the 1999 massacre at Columbine High School and the 2012 Aurora movie theater shooting.
Details of the training are sparse, as even its location has not been released. KRDO reported that it was secured by the Weld County Sheriff’s Office.
However, another FASTER training in northwest Ohio this week included a mock attack in which an “armed” teacher responded within seconds to gunshot sounds in a hallway, local NPR affiliate WYSO reported.
“He carefully but quickly shuffles toward the sound of gunfire,” as WYSO’s Annie Wu described the scene during a three-day training at Wadsworth High School. “He approaches a large room, sees an angry teenager with a gun, and confronts him.”
“Freeze! Freeze! Drop it!” the teacher reportedly shouts before the student actor cries, “I’m shooting myself,” and pretends to kill himself.
Situation neutralized? No, not so fast and not so easy. The drill continues, with the teacher telling a participating witness to call 911. The caller was purportedly vague and misleading on the emergency call, saying, “Yeah, the teacher’s got his gun out. Yeah, no he’s got his gun and he’s pointing it at people.”
That’s when the simulation was ordered stopped, and a trainer explained how police arriving with guns drawn could easily mistake the teacher for the true criminal.
Elsewhere, in Ohio, outside of Dayton, the school district Mad River Schools has stockpiled ammunition, firearms, and safety vests in secret safes, the locations of which are only known by a 32-member emergency response team and the district superintendent, according to WYSO. That district is training in preparation for the implementation of new active shooter policies this fall.
While most U.S. school districts aren’t arming teachers, it may just be a matter of time, as shooting drills become the norm for educational institutions nationwide. Even military agencies participated in such an exercise with local police at Fountain Middle School in Colorado Springs earlier this month, local Fox affiliate KXRM reported.
As summer vacation for students begins, schools in South Carolina, Texas, and Virginia have been training for active shooter situations. In central Texas, Brown County sheriff’s deputies and emergency responders got together with 30 high school drama students to act out a shooting situation, Brownwood News reported.