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Liberty students learn what to do in school shooting

Your student will likely be coming home with some extra knowledge this week if they go to school in Adams County. It’s knowledge that could save their life in a school shooting.

It’s part of a new law stating mandating that schools do an active shooter drills in the first 90 days of school starting.

Liberty Schools participated in a real-life active shooter drill so students and staff know exactly what it’s like if an armed suspect would make it into the building. It’s an authentic drill that school officials say will keep everyone here safe if anything were ever to happen.

It happens fast.

Staff members at Liberty schools work to quickly to send out a picture of an armed suspect who has potentially entered the school building.

Students are told to run, hide and prepare to fight.

It’s a situation like an active shooter that staff, students and deputies with the Adams County sheriff’s office worked to prepare themselves for Thursday.

“Anytime there’s an active shooter situation inside a school environment or any environment, it’s run, hide, fight,” Chief deputy Rich Wagner said. “It’s get away, if you can’t get away, you hide and if you can’t hide, it’s time to fight to save yourself.”

Wagner said they used guns and fired out rubber bullets on the suspect, so kids learn to be familiar with the sound and know how to react. It’s something he said was perceived well.

“Our role player today didn’t really see any targets and the targets he did see, were far away, running and moving just like they should have,” Wagner said.

Superintendent Kelle Bunch said the drill also shows them what they need to improve on.

“It’s easy to hear something when it’s quiet, but what if there’s a lot of noise? We also looked at how we’re doing with our communications and what more we could put in place,” Bunch said.

Although it may be frightening, students said it makes them feel safe.

“Initial thought, you’re scared and stuff, but your teachers know what to do and tell you what to do before, so you feel safe,” senior Jordan Neisen said.

Wagner said this is the first step to overcoming a tragic situation.

“I’m confident if something happened at one of our schools, our students and staff would react in the right way to survive,” Wagner said.

He also said all school districts in the county are participating in these active shooter drills.

Bunch said she wants students to go home and talk with their parents about what to do in an active shooter situation. She said because shootings don’t only happen at schools, she’s looking to set up an active shooter drill for the entire community.

Kara Biernat

Kara Biernat is a MultiMedia Journalist for WGEM News.

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