School Officials Step Up Training To Prepare For Active Shooters

Brad Spicer, president of SafePlans, is highlighting ways to keep a door shut.
In south Houston, a former elementary school provided the perfect training ground for an active shooter drill this week.

Brad Spicer used to serve in the military and worked on a SWAT team. Now he uses those military tactics to train educators in case an active shooter attacks a school.

His course is called “Intruderology.” One of the first lessons is how to improvise and keep a door shut.

“So you’ve got a belt or an extension cord.  You can loop it around the handle. Can I get you to pull on the door?”

Spicer holds the door tight with his belt.

A lady outside the classroom tries to open the door but she can’t.

“Now is it a perfect situation? Absolutely not. Can it fail, yes. Is it better than an unlocked door? Every day it’s better than an unlocked door.

The Harris County Department of Education held the training this week.

Employees from about 30 different school districts attended — like Cheryl Vital. She directs security and emergency management for Galena Park Independent School District.

Shooter Drill participantsShe’s planning her own active shooter drill this spring.

“We are doing the drill because clearly we believe that we will perform according to how we plan and practice. God forbid in the event that we face a situation in Galena Park, we are best equipped to protect our staff and our students.”

Vital says it will be the first-ever large-scale active shooter drill for Galena Park.

But in schools, they’re quickly becoming the norm.

From the KUHF Education Desk, I’m Laura Isensee.

Bio photo of Laura Isensee

Laura Isensee

Education Reporter

Laura Isensee covers education for KUHF, including K-12 and higher education.

Previously, she was a staff reporter at The Miami Herald and regularly contributed to WLRN, the local NPR affiliate and Miami Herald news partner...