Greenup Co. HS undergoes active shooter training

By Portia Williams

December 19, 2013

Portia Williams

PDT Staff Writer

GREENUP, Ky. — With an increasing number of school shootings nationwide, Greenup County High School staff is now prepared for the worst of scenarios.

A total of 50 members of Greenup County High School composed of teachers, staff and administrators participated in an active shooter training session held at the school on Wednesday.

Jason Smith, principal of Greenup County High School, said strong ties with the Kentucky State Police allowed them to be first in line in the area for the active shooter training.

“We have a really good relationship with the Kentucky State Police. Because of that relationship, they asked us if we wanted to be the first school to take the training, and of course we accepted. We are very fortunate to be the first school in the area to take the training.” Smith said.

Smith said KSP comes in periodically to assist Greenup High School with lockdown drills.

According to Smith, the three and a half hour active shooter training with the KSP took place after the school day at Greenup High School had ended. The training included two parts, consisting of classroom instruction and simulation of a school shooting.

“The first part was some classroom instruction which lasted about an hour and a half. It is actually pretty simple. Its, ‘Run, hide, or fight.’ They went through the process of how we identify options if a threatening situation were to happen,” Smith said.

The second part of the training involved simulation of a school with role-playing.

“The Kentucky State Police divided us into three groups, and we went through three different scenarios with an active shooter. They brought in a weapon that fired blanks,” Smith said.

Smith said the use of the weapon was intentional and purposeful.

“We had some staff that have never heard gunfire before. The state police wanted our staff to be able to identify what that sounds like, where the sound is coming from, and to be able to respond in a proper way,”Smith said.

He said the staff of Greenup High feels better prepared to deal with any danger.

“I think that we are much more aware now of what our options are in case something were to happen. The different scenarios that we did made us think of what our reactions would be, and what do we have in our classrooms available to us in case we do get to that third option of having to fight.”

Smith said it made the staff more aware of their school building, classrooms, and how each staff person should react.

The training was particularly relevant because of a situation that unfolded during a Greenup County football game in October. A student brought a handgun and ammunition to school grounds and was arrested.

The Greenup County Sheriff’s Department and Russell Police Department assisted in the exercise.

Portia Williams may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 286 or portiawilliams@civitasmedia.com. For breaking news, follow Portia on Twitter @PortiaWillPDT.