CSRA schools prepared for the worst

Columbia County school teachers receive sheriff's office training in the event of an active shooter.
Columbia County school teachers receive sheriff's office training in the event of an active shooter.

EVANS, Ga. (WJBF) – After a school shooting in Townville, S.C., NewsChannel 6 took a look at how teaching staff across the CSRA prepare themselves for the possibility of an active shooter.

The link preventing an active school shooter from harming students in Columbia County an emergency radio.

We spoke with Penny Jackson, Assistant Superintendent about how they work.

“We can communicate here from the board office, our schools can communicate with one another if need be, but most importantly we are on the direct line to immediate service with our sheriff’s department.”

Jackson broke down how teachers in Columbia County get prepared if an incident like the school shooting in Townville, S.C. happened here.

“Many, many of them went through active shooter training as if their was a shooter in their building,” She said noting the last training happened in Spring 2015.

The Columbia County Sheriffs Office trained teachers in their individual buildings through a program called ALICE training. But the emergency radio puts a first responder on immediate alert.

“We have both the 911 feature as well as an orange button that we can push which means we’re in a crisis and we need immediate assistance,” she said.

Students also walk through different scenarios to alert them of what might happen. But teacher training is vital.

“They’re going to have faith in their teacher. The majority of our students are going to trust the adult in that room to lead them to safety,” she added.

Teachers in Aiken County Public Schools are also ready if a shooter situation happens.

The district released this statement:

“Our hearts are saddened and thoughts most certainly with all of our colleagues in Anderson County and Townville Elementary School at this difficult time. The Aiken County Public School District places the utmost importance on the safety of our students, teachers and staff members. We take an active approach to school safety as a district by providing consistent oversight and direction for our school administrators regarding best practice procedures. Events such as the recent tragedy in Anderson remind us that vigilance is rewarded, and preparation saves lives. To that end, the Aiken County Public School District maintains open lines of communications with our law enforcement organizations across the county. We coordinate a number of hard lockdown drills with law enforcement agencies at each school throughout the year, and also open our school buildings to law enforcement during the summer months, allowing them the opportunity to practice and enhance their life-saving techniques.”

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