Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Teacher Training

Friday's attack has ignited a lot of discussion.  There is the argument against guns, although guns are the medium and not the cause.  Japan doesn't have guns but in 1995 13 people were killed and about 1,000 more injured (over 50 seriously) when a cult released sarin gas on a several subway cars.  But this post isn't pro gun.  A lot of attention has been given to the attackers mental condition, but crazy is not what I want to talk about either.

Teachers willingly gave up their lives during this attack.  Ill thought out emergency plans actually help an attacker instead of hinder him/her.  Current practice is to lock the door to your room.  I guess guns can't shoot through locks.  I mean it is a great first step, but is often the only step.  Oh, I think they teach them to tell the kids to play dead.  This is so wrong.  Basically, they teach teachers to lock their only exit from the the classroom and just wait for a shooter to blast through the door and open up in the perfect shooting gallery.  The kids will most likely be bunched up in the back of the classroom making aim a non factor.

I sat my kids down and told them what to do and I am going to share it here.

If a gunman is shooting up your room, flip your desk and hide behind it.  It offers some cover and concealment, do not run to the back of the classroom to be in the shooting gallery.  Then you need to listen.  The gun is going to be going bang, bang, bang.  When you hear click, you have about 5 seconds to get away.  Dive through windows if you can, if you have to rush the shooter.  Lets be honest, you chances of survival just waiting in the room are not very good, Rushing the shooter seems like suicide, but is no less deadly than sitting there waiting for death to come.

If a gunman has started in a nearby room and you can't get out of the room for some odd reason.  Lock the door.  Maybe you have a lazy gunman that will try the door and keep walking when it is locked.  In the case that this does not happen all kids should be on the door side of the classroom against the wall, this makes the classroom look empty.  The teacher should be on the left side of the door.  (actually, I should research this as I am wondering what percent of people that commit mass murder are left handed).  This is because most people are right handed and the gun hand will be entering on the right side (your left).  A gunman will need to step all the way into the room in order to shoot the people against the door side wall.  When the gunman steps in is a perfect time for the teacher to attempt to wrestle the gun away.  I suggest just grabbing the gun as his full attention will be regaining control of the weapon.  Simultaneously reach up and strike the assailant in the face with the palm of your hand.  if you can ram a head into a door jam, good for you.  Keep striking the face with your free hand (stomping feet and kneeing the lower body are also encouraged)..  This is the cue for students to leave the room as quickly as possible.  If you are a high school teacher, some of the students can help you subdue the person.

Teachers want to protect their kids, but they are not trained on how to do so correctly.  Telling scared children to play dead may work for a couple of kids, but the shooter likely has a pretty good idea how many he has shot and a panicked kid is likely to be shaking and crying.  If you teach, take a martial arts class or 10.  For weapon defense I would recommend Krav Maga or Jeet Kune Do.  A doorway is a natural ambush point.  There is no reason why a shooter should walk through one unmolested.  A pair of scissors to the throat of a gunman trying to get his gun under control might immediately neutralize the situation.

I am not making light or attacking teachers.  Putting these things into practice in a real life situation will be difficult, but waiting around for someone else to save you will result in deaths.  The training the school gives you is inadequate.  Hiding under desks offers almost no cover and/or concealment.  It is also 100% defensive.  Find a capable martial arts teacher and learn how to better protect yourself and your students.  

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