If you are driving through Agawam on Wednesday, you may see something that might be a little unsettling.
The superintendent is putting out a warning to residents about active shooter training at one of their schools.
Tomorrow, one Agawam elementary school will be the scene of a planned active shooter training session with students, teachers, first responders, and others.
However, this time, they are going to practice evacuating, so people driving by might worry.
If you happen to drive by Granger Elementary School in Agawam on Wednesday morning, you might see something unusual.
"Students will be coming out of the school, hands up, fingers spread, the police have advised us to do," said Agawam School Supt. Steve Lemanski.
They will be practicing the evacuating part of ALICE training, a comprehensive active shooter training program that they have been teaching all school year long.
"They think it's great practice for the kids to learn that. Not just in a school setting, but in any setting, if there is a shooter, this is how they should respond," Lemanski added.
It's become reality for kids in the United States to drill on this kind of training so heavily. The Granger School has kindergarten through fourth graders, so those witnessing young children leaving the school building in this way could be startling, especially with video coming from Texas just days ago after a shooter in a school killed ten people.
"The parents are aware, so we are also trying to get the public aware, so they know what is happening and they don't panic when they see our kids coming out of the school with their hands up," Lemanski explained.
Starting next school year, they will work with parents to plan on unification in the event of a shooter, but this is not something they take lightly.
"We are going to continue to do this in all of our schools and it's important for the public to be aware of it," Lemanski said.
So if you see something while driving or posted on social media about something at an Agawam school, know that police and the school department are working with the kids to keep them safe during this drill.
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