Alabama educators simulate active shooter scenario


GULF SHORES, AL (WALA) - An active shooter simulation played itself out at Gulf Shores High School today. But instead of police and county deputies taking down the pretend bad guys, teachers and administrators were on point.

Members of the Alabama Association of School Resource Officers (TAASRO) led educators through basic steps of how law enforcement handles an active shooter inside a school.

“We went to show them the police response so they kind of know what's going to be happening if they're in a classroom and they're locked down,” Pamela Revels, president of TAASRO, said.

Teachers and school officials are trained on how to move as a two-person unit that can fully assess a hall or classroom. Then, they're briefed on identifying targets.

Finally, they get to go into what's called “the hot room” and take out the pretend threat.

Immediately after they had to lock a pretend door, which is trickier than it sounds when your adrenaline is rushing.

“When you're in a certain level, you're going to lose certain abilities, such as: you're going to lose some of your hearing, you're going to lose some peripheral vision, you're going to lose your fine motor control. These are things that they may have never experienced that we want to show them, that way they know what's going to happen in that moment,” Revels said.

Those who went through the exercise call it an eye-opening experience.

“We have a resource officer in every one of our schools and every day they go to work with the possibility of this. So it's amazing,” Dr. Tom Sisk, superintendent of Limestone County School District, said.

“Now I can provide a unique experience because I can say, ‘Hey, I went through this thing and now I know,” Jeremy Borchardt, a physics and forensics teacher at Foley High School, said.

Revels said that's the point: for these adults to take what they've learned and make their schools safer when they return.

“Every time something happens, we want to look and say, are we doing it right? Here's what happened in this situation, this school shooting. Are we doing what we need to do for that type of situation,” Revels said.

This is the 16th year TAASRO has held its summit in cooperation with Gulf Shores Police and the Baldwin County Sheriff's Office. The summit concludes on Friday.

Originally posted June 3rd, 2015 at