Agawam teachers, staff take part in active shooter training - Western Mass News - WGGB/WSHM

Agawam teachers, staff take part in active shooter training

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(Western Mass News photo) (Western Mass News photo)

A local school district is focusing on active shooter training.

The Agawam Police Department and the entire school community gathered for a lecture Thursday afternoon.

It was not a light afternoon at a local Agawam school.

It's a difficult topic to talk about: active shooter training in public schools.

"I'm good at reading body language, so as soon as I started this presentation, I see the tight lips, I see the frowns," said John Nettis with Agawam Public Schools.

Nettis walked elementary school teachers and staff through the basics of preparing for an active shooter Thursday afternoon and showed them a video of school shootings that made national news and brought out plastic replicas of different types of guns.

Throughout the week, as this training continues, things will get a bit more participatory as police officers play the role of active shooters and teachers learn to barricade doors.

"We've adopted the ALICE school shooter training," said Agawam School Supt. Steve Lemanski

Law enforcement officials recognize ALICE as the number one active shooter training for civilians for all organizations.

Lemanski told Western Mass News that he focuses on keeping his students and staff safe and this is one way to do just that.

"If we look at society and everything that's been happening, not just in schools, but in churches, in movie theaters, and in malls, unfortunately active shooters are everywhere," Lemanski added.

Staff members reacted to what they saw on screen and remember what happened.

"It's okay to get emotional," Nettis explained as some thought about the worst case scenario.

"You have a split second to make a decision and we're gonna stack the deck for you, so you're able to think through the exercise, think through the incident, and make a rational and conscious decision," Nettis said.

Copyright 2018 Western Mass News (Meredith Corporation).  All rights reserved.

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