Monmouth High School teachers train on how to handle an active shooter

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MONMOUTH, Illinois--  Several fake gun shots echoed through the hallways of Monmouth-Roseville High School. Teachers were in their classrooms preparing for the worst.

It's a situation no school ever wants to be in.

On Friday afternoon Monmouth Police and school staff went through an intense active shooter training program. Ironically the training session was planned in advance before a Monmouth student had tried to bring a pellet gun to an alternative school.

"The point is to empower teachers to make decisions give them training information so they can make that decision when it happens," said Lieutenant Bratcher, Monmouth Police.

The program is called ALICE which stands for Alert, Lockdown, Information, Counter measures and Evacuation. It's to help school staff learn how to deal with an armed intruder.

For the first half hour staff met in the high school's library where they were prepped on what to expect and how to prepare themselves before a fake intruder went into the hallways.

Bratcher says the key to training is for teachers to be proactive and take action during an active shooter situation.

During a lockdown Bratcher says in a deadly situation, teachers sometimes forget the obvious first steps which are dialing 9-1-1, closing and locking their classroom doors.

"We’re trying to deaden the senses in a situation like this because when you’re stressed out and you never been in that situation before your heart rate goes up your vision goes narrow your hearing shuts off," said Bratcher.

After prepping the staff they were told staff to get to their classrooms and prepare for the fake active shooter.

One officer played the role of the shooter while others simulated a fake gun shot noise through the hallways.

Once everyone was in place teachers proceeded to close and lock their classroom doors. Teachers were then informed over the intercom the school was on lockdown and gave updates on the shooters location. It was an all too real situation for staff with the reminder of the recent shooting in Florida still fresh in their minds.

"Its been a tough week with what happened in Parkland it’s always tough. I think thing the safety of children is always paramount in teachers minds. I just hope that people realize how serious this is," said Brian Tibbets, Monmouth High School teacher.

After an intense 20 minutes, police then took down the fake shooter and teachers were given the okay to leave their classrooms.

They were then brought back down to the library to debrief and go over any other questions teachers had.

"It’s going to be chaotic but if you have training and you have a mission or goal then everyone is moving in the same direction and we save lives that way," said Bratcher.

Monmouth Police say this is just the first part of the training the next part will involve students later in the Spring.

Bratcher says each grade level will go through the age appropriate training.


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