This month, the Springfield Police Department officers are training Springfield School District employees how to respond to an on-campus shooter.
The Register-Guard reports that this is the school district’s first training ever in dealing with an armed intruder — schools regularly practice lockdown drills, but the district didn’t have a concrete plan on how to handle an active gunman until the training.
“The goal is to keep people from freezing and doing nothing,” said Eric Todd, Springfield High School’s new resource officer, in an interview with the newspaper.
The drills are more difficult for some who worked at Thurston High School in 1998 when a teen shooter killed two students and injured another 25 people. And with the latest Oregon school shooting at Reynolds High School just two months behind us, administrators see a need to be prepared.
“We’re not doing this because of our history,” said district spokeswoman Devon Ashbridge in an interview with the Register-Guard. “It’s something, as we know, that can happen anywhere.”
Other school districts nationwide have held similar trainings after the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in December 2012, including a number in Oregon.
How far should schools go in preparing for potential armed intruders? Should administrators take even further steps, like arming teachers, as discussed in Jackson County’s Eagle Point School District?