FLEMINGSBURG — Active shooter training was held at Flemingsburg Elementary School Friday morning to advise and prepare teachers and staff on how to act if an active shooter is within the school.
Flemingsburg Police Department, members of Kentucky State Police, and other emergency services were present to assist in the exercises.
Flemingsburg Police Chief Brian Bowling said the active shooter trainings in the school district have been conducted in Fleming County for around five years.
“We’ve had an epidemic in our country over the last 20 years,” Bowling said. “This is something every school district needs to spend time talking about, and we’re lucky enough here that I’ve got a lot of support from our school district.”
Before becoming chief, Bowling served with Kentucky State Police where he worked with the Safe Schools Program. To that end, Bowling and the state police developed active shooter classes for schools.
Bowling began the training by showing a presentation to attendees on the common characteristics of public shootings, from the motives and methodology involved to the kinds of people most likely to commit the shootings.
“School shooters are cowards,” Bowling said during the presentation. “They go into schools, not looking for a fight — they’re looking for targets.”
The training, Bowling said, is to help teachers and staff understand there are measures and precautions they can take to better defend themselves in the event of an active shooter situation. He hopes teachers and staff will realize they’re in power to make decisions that will protect themselves and students.
After the presentation, the teachers and staff took part in four different scenarios, which simulated possible outcomes during the high stress situation. Police brought with them an AK-47, which fired blanks, in order to make the simulation as realistic as possible.
After comprehending the gravity of what they were undergoing, some staff members were admittedly nervous.
“I began real excited, and now the more we’ve gone through training I’m a tad bit nervous,” said Lisa Price, teacher at FES.
The general consensus however, was that the training is effective in educating and preparing the school staff.
“It’s actually given me, so far, a lot to think about and a lot to process,” Price said, “and I’m constantly visualizing my (classroom) and thinking about everything (Bowling) is talking about in reference to my classroom and my kids and how I have things situated.”
FES Assistant Principal Kevin Sanders says he has attended several active shooter trainings before throughout the district, and believes they are a beneficial precaution to take.
“With the way things are anymore, you just can’t be too careful on what’s going on,” Sanders said. “We just want to try and do everything we can to make sure the parents and our community and our schools know how serious we take this. We want to try and keep everybody as safe as possible.”
Bowling said he plans to go to all schools in the district and conduct active shooter trainings. Simons Middle School will have training on Aug. 3, Ewing Elementary School and E.P. Ward Elementary School on Aug. 6 and Hillsboro Elementary School on Aug. 22.