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District Conducts Active Shooter Training

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   Officials with the Georgetown County School District and the Georgetown County Sheriff’s Office began conducting Active Shooter training classes for teachers and other school personnel in January. The first three training sessions was attended by hundreds of staff members from 15 schools and the district office; additional classes will be held in later for the remaining schools and district personnel.

   “We hope for the best, but prepare for the worst,” said Superintendent Dr. Randy Dozier. The training is a follow-up to the Law Enforcement Active Shooter training that was held prior to the school year at Waccamaw High School. Dozier said the sessions are part of an ongoing program to improve school safety that include new emergency operations plans for schools, security system upgrades, and safety enhancements to school entrances.

     Sgt. Gary Todd of the Sheriff’s Office training division began the program by explaining to participants that the primary goal of law enforcement in an active shooter situation is to try and save as many lives as possible. Todd said officers are trained to respond directly to the threat and eliminate it, even if that means bypassing injured victims. Teachers were instructed as to what they should and should not do in these situations, and in techniques for securing their classrooms and accounting for their students.

     The second part of the program introduced the Standard Response Protocol to critical incidents in schools. Alan Walters, Director of Safety and Risk Management for the District, covered the four types of responses to be used depending on the situation: Lockouts, which are used when there is a threat or hazard outside of the school building; Lockdowns, which are called when the threat or hazard is inside a school; Evacuation, when students and staff must move from one location to another; and Shelter, when the need for personal protection is necessary. “Our goal is to have a set of instructions that are clear, concise and easily understood by school staffs, students and parents,” said Walters.

     School safety concerns can be reported through the School Safety Quick-Tip link at www.gcsd.k12.sc.us, or by downloading the app for Apple or Android phones from the district website.