Teachers face ‘new reality’ in classroom

Educators attend active shooter training just in time for new school year

Teachers in Beauregard Parish tackled their final to-do list item before the new school year begins by attending a mandatory civilian response to active shooter training on Monday. 

Teachers at East Beauregard High School were the final group to receive the training from Beauregard Parish Sheriff’s Deputy Freddie Doyle and Chief Detective Mark Herford. The officers received their accreditation to offer the classes in July, and over the past few weeks offered the class to each school in the parish. 

Child welfare supervisor Eddie Joslin, who heads the district’s school safety team alongside assistant superintendent Marlin Ramsey, said the courses are a valuable tool to help prepare teachers for the worst-case scenario. 

“I’ve sat through this presentation at least eight or nine times now, and I have learned something new every time,” Joslin stated. 

The class offered teachers an analytical view of past public attack scenarios, including school shootings, in an attempt to help them prepare a response that they could utilize in their own classrooms during a mandatory lockdown situation. 

“If you have to lockdown, there needs to be more to it than that,” Herford stated. “You gotta have more tools in your toolbox than to just lock down.”

The class offered veteran teacher Melissa Thibodeaux a view of what she called “the new reality” of teaching. 

“It’s a scary thought to think that this could happen here, but I do believe most of my concerns were addressed. I feel comfortable that I now have some less conspicuous ways to protect my class without putting the fear of a shooting in front of them each day,” she stated. 

For teacher Jennifer Phillips, who has 13 years of teaching experience beneath her belt, the class illustrated the mounting pressure being placed on teachers’ shoulders. 

“In addition to making sure our students are learning the lessons that they need to succeed and making sure they are prepared for state testing, we now also have to make sure that they are protected from potential outside events and be on the constant lookout for potential warning signs,” she stated. 

“It can feel almost overwhelming when you think about it, but today’s class did give me the confidence I needed to feel sure that I will be able to protect my students.”

‘It’s a scary thought to think that this could happen here, but I do believe most of my concerns were addressed.’ 

Melissa Thibodeaux

Beauregard Parish teacher

who attended active shooter training

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Teachers in Beauregard Parish attending a mandatory civilian response to active shooter training on Monday, August 13, 2018. 

Pamela SleezerBeauregard and Vernon Parish Reporter
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