Teachers in Jemison are making an added effort to keep their students safe this school year. In addition to the schools getting school resource officers for the first time, they participated in a safety training program.
The Chilton County Sheriff's Office, Chilton County EMA and Jemison Police Department taught a four-hour safety training course inside Jemison High School. The goal was to make sure teachers are prepared in the event of an active shooter situation. Law enforcement facilitated the ALICE training. ALICE stands for alert, lockdown, inform, counter, and evacuate. Teachers spent part of their time learning what to do, and the other part applying what they learned.
The teachers were given several active shooter scenarios where they had to take action to protect their students. Lauren Lukela is a third grade teacher at Jemison Elementary School who participated in the interactive training. In a video posted to Facebook, teachers were given the scenario of a gunman getting inside the classroom. Lukela says in this particular exercise, they were applied the "counter" step. They were throwing books and yelling in order to distract the shooter.
"We felt the intense anxiety and adrenaline rush, like it was real," Lukela said. "By hands-on practice we were able to see what things actually worked."
After each scenario, the teachers were given an after-action briefing to help learn from any mistakes.
"It was incredible and strenous training," Lukela said, "It was definitely awesome."
Chilton County Schools start back on Thursday, August 9.
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