OPATA offering free training for educators

January 15, 2013

Frank Lewis

PDT Staff Writer

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine says more training opportunities for Ohio’s educators have now been scheduled.

DeWine announced plans for the Ohio Peace Officer Training Academy’s (OPOTA) “Active Shooter Training Response for Educators Course” last month.

DeWine said the free courses, which will be held across the state in partnership with the Ohio Department of Education, will provide educators with insight on how to identify the actions of active shooters before they commit their crimes. The course will also include training on how to respond in a school shooting situation.

“The goal of these courses is to give our teachers and school staff ideas on what to look for and how to respond if the unthinkable happens,” DeWine said. “We hope our educators never have to apply this training, but we want them to be prepared.”

A renewed emphasis on identifying trouble before it happens has been in order since the shooting in Connecticut and even locally as Wheelersburg Schools was the target of a bomb threat last week.

“Basically, it’s going to teach teachers as to what to be looking for in students, some traits they might exhibit, and obviously it’s not going to be the same in every case,” Jill del Greco, Public Information Officer for the Attorney General’s Office, said. “There were some studies done that we will be referring to on some of the other school shootings, and the things they exhibited.”

According to del Greco, in some of the cases, the shooters had actually written papers on the subject or talked about it and no one had intervened.

“So this is what to look for in someone who might end up taking out that kind of violence - how to intervene and when to intervene,” del Greco said. “Also, what to do if you are in school and a shooter does enter the building, how to react and how to protect the kids.”

The courses do not include firearm training. Two of those courses are scheduled for the southern part of the state. In southeast Ohio, a session is scheduled for Feb. 7, 2013, at the Athens/Meigs County Educational Service Center, 21 Birge Drive, Chauncey, Ohio, while educators in southwest Ohio, may attend training on Jan. 31, 2013, at the Hamilton County Educational Service Center, located at 11083 Hamilton Ave., in Cincinnati.

Each training date will include morning and afternoon sessions. Teachers can register for the classes on the Ohio Department of Education’s website. The courses are also open to law enforcement officers, who can sign up on the Ohio Attorney General’s website.

Frank Lewis may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 252, or at flewis@civitasmedia.com.