With the increase in active shooter situations across the country, one local school district is taking precaution and preparing for the worst.
“You never know exactly what to do after Columbine happened and everyone said never run outside because they’re just waiting for you. Each school is trying to come up with their own plan of how to deal with it,” Oskaloosa High School Technology Director William Cormode, said.
William Cormode is a part of the USD 341 team that partnered up with SafeDefend– an emergency response system that mitigates threats in an active shooter situation.
“Unfortunately, with the world we live in today this type of situation has to be in every teacher and staff job description,” Superintendent John Pfau said.
Teachers were taught how to use non-lethal supplies like pepper spray, trauma packs, high beam flashlights and more. These supplies are locked in a SafeDefend box and the key is the teacher’s finger print.
“The finger print activation prevents students from being able to activate it. So we’re not going to get a false alarm, only staff and faculty can activate the system,” SafeDefend Director of Trainers Douglas Parisi said.
When the alarm is activated, law enforcement will immediately be alerted with information down to the activation location and room number. The system will also send a mass text and email to every staff member and teacher in the school and the district.
“So if you’re on the opposite side of the building in the elementary school and something happens to the high school those elementary school teachers will know to run for the exits and get out, but those teachers that may be closer to the event might decide it might be better to just hide because you wouldn’t run to the hallway in an event like that,” said Parisi.
With Safe Defend Cormode said he’s ready to face any scenario.
“We have everything we need to keep the kids safe, all the tools needed and all the training needed so I would feel perfectly fine,” Cormode said.
The Oskaloosa School District will only have boxes in the main entry areas and offices, Cormode said, but he hopes they will make their way into every classroom soon.