Mt. Vernon Community School Corporation has several security protocols in place; but this year, they’re taking security a step further, offering specialized training for their staff.
As soon as you step on the property of one of Mt. Vernon’s schools, you are under surveillance. The district has an extensive network of cameras inside and outside each of their buildings.
This year, all of the teachers in the district are also undergoing special training with an organization called CTC, Crisis Training and Consulting. Middle school and high school educators had their training in September.
One of the main elements of training with CTC is learning how to use a tourniquet, something many teachers thought they would never need to learn.
"Yeah, that's something new that I've not experienced before," Travis Daugherty, who teaches English at the high school, said. "And I'm really excited about just learning how I can better protect and help students in an emergency situation. I think it's just the reality of the world today,” Daugherty explained.
Trainers with CTC gave hands-on training to each of the teachers, and every teacher now has a tourniquet in their classroom. Trainers say the tourniquets will save lives in case of an active shooter.
"It is the number one life-saving technique," Tom Everett, founder and trainer with CTC said. "Time is what ends up costing a life. It takes a matter of minutes for you to bleed out so why wouldn't you know how to put a tourniquet on?” Everett asked.
Along with learning how to put on a tourniquet, teachers also learned how to pack a wound and best practices when an active shooter is reported in the building.
Derek Shelton, Director of Operations for Mt. Vernon Schools, says they want teachers to be prepared. "We're just looking to train our staff on how to better prepare for crisis situations and understanding the roles and responsibilities they could have if something does occur,” Shelton said.
The training is in addition to the school safety plan the district uses.
"We have a lobby guard system that's a buzz-in system in each building," Co-Interim Superintendent Chris Smedley said. "We also have a panic button app on each of our staff member's phones in the event that something should happen. We've also taken advantage of the Department of Education passing out the handheld metal detector wands,” Smedley said.
The hope is that the teachers will never need to put this training into use, but they say it makes them feel prepared if something does happen.
"In today's school climate I think the more equipped and empowered and prepared teachers can be, the better,” Daugherty said.
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