TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) Monday afternoon class was in session for Vigo County teachers. But the lesson, is one they can’t find in their text books.
“Really they are the first line of defense other than the (School Protection Officer),” Terre Haute Police Chief John Plasse said. “They’re gonna have to protect those kids and I know they are gonna do that, but we just wanna give them some tools and some training to help them do that.”
That’s what set Monday’s active shooter drill apart from ones in the past. This one has an audience of teachers avidly watching a large electronic clock.
“We wanted to show how much damage can be done in 3 minutes,” Plasse explained. “You know back in columbine we waited for SWAT to get there which was a half hour, 45 minutes. How many kids got killed because of that?”
As the teachers watched, Terre Haute police, state police, and Vigo county deputies engaged and subdued the shooter. But not before he was able to cover most of the 1st floor of Honey Creek middle school; all in under 3 minutes.
“I think the main thing for (the teachers) is to watch what happens and think in their mind what kind of questions do they have. What should they do? Or what do they need to do? It’s better to learn that in training then in an actual situation,” Plasse said.
After the session the teachers found themselves still in the students’ role. Asking questions on how they can protect their students. The police officers were playing teachers and instructing them in a lesson in safety.