Teurlings Catholic in negotiations with local police for active shooter drill on campus

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Teurlings Catholic High is in negotiations with local law enforcement to conduct an active shooter drill on campus.

According to The Daily Advertiser, the drill could include officers firing blank gunshot rounds, running down hallways and banging on classroom doors, according to a letter sent to Teurlings parents.

If the drill takes place, it would likely be sometime in March.

“As of this time, it is not a guarantee, but we wanted to prepare our students,” said Teurlings Principal Michael Boyer. “This drill, I believe, would educate our students, whether they are in the classroom or on the practice fields. We want them to be able to react instinctively with a plan when chaos becomes prevalent.”

Cpl. Bridgette Dugas, spokeswoman for the Lafayette Police Department, said details about the possible drill are still being established.

Dugas said the department has not conducted a similar drill with any other school.

The plans come a little more than two weeks after 17 students and staff were killed at a shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.

According to the letter, students and staff would have to decide whether to try to escape or barricade themselves in classrooms as part of the drill. The activity would include classroom and schoolwide discussions before and after the drill.

“The plan is for this to be a very controlled drill and practice,” Boyer said. “Nobody is going to be pointing guns at students. We want students to be aware of the different sounds and what can happen in a situation like that.”

Boyer said he would put the active shooter drill in the same category as preparations for fires, tornadoes, intruders or other campus emergencies.

“It’s not far from what we do with those drills,” he said. “I’m just looking for a little chaos to see how they react. We will debrief them afterwards and talk about what we did well and where would need to improve.”

In the letter, administrators said the drill would be an opportunity to educate students not just about safety on campus, but about safety in other public venues. Across the country in recent years, mass shootings have taken place in movie theaters, outdoor concerts, nightclubs and other locations.

“This is something they can take with them wherever they are,” Boyer said.

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