Thanks to the Buckeye Firearms Foundation, teachers in Ohio will receive free training on how to respond to an active shooter on their campus.
The foundation is funding a three-day workshop put on by FASTER (Faculty/Administrator Safety Training and Emergency Response).
FASTER is a unique non-profit that provides “practical violence response training.” Its program doesn’t teach school staff and faculty the typical lockdown procedure – clearing halls, barricading doors, covering windows. It teaches them how to actually take down an active shooter.
“In a lot of cases and across the country, law enforcement’s two, five, ten, fifteen minutes away depending on the jurisdiction,” Andrew Blubaugh, a former police officer and law enforcement trainer who now teaches for FASTER, told WOSU Radio. “So the next best person is somebody who is in the building, who is educated, that we already trust with our kids, and we can give them the skills that they need.”
“They’re not expecting a teacher,” Blubaugh added. “They’re looking for uniformed officers. That’s what they’re going to be cued in on. So you have the element of surprise.”
On it’s website, FASTER notes that its program is not meant to replace police officers or other first responders “but to allow teachers, administrators, and other personnel on-site to stop school violence rapidly and render medical aid immediately.”
Chris Cerino, who is also a former police officer and law enforcement trainer that now teaches for FASTER, broke down the course.
“We teach them about target and backstop. We give them good marksmanship skills,” Cerino told WOSU Radio. “We talk to them about closing the distances and using cover. And we also talk to them about not shooting when they shouldn’t or can’t.”
Participants are also taught emergency medical care. Although, they’re told that caring for someone who is injured isn’t the priority in such a situation.
“It is true if somebody is injured and little Suzy that you know is laying there bleeding, at this point, it is your job to go stop the shooting,” Michelle Cerino, who also works with FASTER, explained. “You’re the one that is supposed to go on the hunt.”
Cerino also teaches participants on how to restrain the shooter if he/she is caught.
Lastly, participants are instructed on how to properly conceal their weapons in the classroom.
As WOSU reminds us, in Ohio, it is up to each district whether or not teachers and other staff are allowed to carry a concealed weapon on school grounds. Districts are not required to reveal to the state whether concealed carry is permitted on their campuses or which staff members have chosen to carry, meaning the number of armed teachers in Ohio is currently unknown. However, it is estimated that around 40 districts now permit concealed carry on their campuses.
Regardless of how many armed teachers there are in Ohio, hopefully they’re all participating in the FASTER program this summer. Props to Buckeye Firearms Foundation for giving them such a great opportunity to help keep them and their students safe.