Less than a month after the horrific school shooting in Connecticut, teachers at Academic’s Plus Charter School underwent an active shooter training scenario at the Maumelle campus on Wednesday, Jan. 9.
Elementary School principal Rachel Wheeler said board member John Breckon conducted the in-service training for teachers immediately after school on their normal training day. She said the experience was very helpful and gave teachers and staff some practical lessons in techniques and strategy teachers can use to help protect students in the unlikely event of a situation similar to that in Connecticut and in other schools around the country occurring here.
High school principal Sharon Walker also said she heard several teachers commenting on the practical lessons they’d learned from Breckon.
Breckon is a Lieutenant with the North Little Rock police department and serves as both its training officer and deputy special operations commander which includes North Little Rock’s special weapons and tactics team (SWAT). He is a certified law enforcement instructor with 25 years on the job for the North Little Rock police department.
Teachers were taught the best way to secure a classroom and how to hide students similar to many of the teachers in Connecticut who died heroes protecting their young students.
Breckon said the chances of a similar situiation here in Maumelle are so minuscule but the training can be helpful in other situations and its always better to be prepared.
He said A Plus is the first school staff to undergo the training he’s taught to about 400 other people including court staff and other governmental office staff.
Breckon said the training covered basic situational awareness and survival techniques that could be used in a lot of different confrontations, not just a school shooting.
He said he covered simple things an individual can do to help protect themselves and others around them during the 70-minute instructional period.
These school situations don’t happen that often, Breckon said but any preparation and heightened awareness that those who find themselves in such situations can have will enhance their survival chances.
Awareness is the key he said because all other actions are taken based upon that knowledge so we spent time teaching those teachers what to look out for in a confrontational situation.
The class is built around just basic survival skills, Breckon said.
He said other schools in the area could take the same course if they go through North Little Rock channels and get the attendance approved and the course can be worked into the department’s training schedule.
Breckon and his wife have had students enrolled in Academic’s Plus Charter School for several years and he has served on the school board during most of those years.