THORNTON, Colo. — The drills at Pinnacle Charter School in Thornton take active shooter training to a whole new level. The older students learn the art of the takedown, and how to assist a teacher by pinning the arms and legs of a bad guy. They learn basic self defense, and CPR.
The school partnered with TAC*ONE Consulting and Impact Safety of Colorado to provide the active shooter training for students ages K-12.
The training varies by age, and is very different than the standard lock down training that instruct students and staff to lock the door to the classroom, turn of the lights and stay out of sight.
“The teachers lock the doors, they hide and then they just wait,” said Chad Miller, the CEO of Pinnacle Charter School. “What we teach is empowerment, so the teachers can make decisions, the students can make decisions, as these things are happening.”
The students are shown how to quietly evacuate, following hand signals from their teacher and checking line of sight. They are shown how to stack furniture in front of the locked door of their classroom.
Joe Deedon, with TAC*ONE, wants students and staff to know there are options other than staying put.
“It’s important what people do in the first couple minutes,” Deedon said.
School leaders know this is an aggressive plan, but they hope the students will feel empowered to make a good decision in an emergency.
“It’s unfortunate we have to teach this, but we don’t know where the dangers are in our society anymore, and these are skills hopefully the kids take with them even when they leave our school,” Miller said.
Parents can opt their children out of the training if they are worried it would be upsetting, and the school does have counselors available if any of the students become anxious.