DELAWARE, OH - In the wake of the killings at Sandy Hook elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut, Buckeye Firearms Foundation partnered with John Benner of Tactical Defense Institute (TDI) to give teachers and administrators training on the best ways to stop an active killer in a school.
The idea garnered worldwide attention and the first class was a resounding success. Many Ohio schools finished the year with armed teachers/administrators available to protect children and employees from violence. Sadly, more schools have still done nothing to deal with a similar situation.
Now that school is out, many teachers will be students in a summer class. Buckeye Firearms Foundation has committed an additional $100,000 to their FASTER (Faculty/Administrator Safety Training and Emergency Response) training. It will pay for three additional classes at TDI this summer, and three classes in NE Ohio with TV's "Top Shot" finalist Chris Cerino.
The same 3-day class will be taught in both locations, but the demand exceeds the resources at any one training facility, so the program is branching out to other highly qualified venues.
"The key element in active killer situations is time," said Jim Irvine, President of Buckeye Firearms Foundation. "The longer a killer has before he is interrupted, the more people he harms. The faster someone is able to confront and stop him, the more lives are saved. Reducing law enforcement response time is great, but it will never be as fast as a response from inside the building. Giving teachers and administrators the skills, tools, and mindset to stop an active killer is the fastest way to stop the killing. FASTER is better."
According to Irvine, many schools didn't want to make any "rash decisions" or "over react" to the Sandy Hook massacre, especially something perceived as controversial as authorizing teachers to carry firearms in defense of children. However, Irvine says this is really about "safety" and not about "guns."
Irvine said, "Every school board member, teacher, administrator, and parent cares about safety. Safety should trump political correctness every time, but especially when the lives of our kids are at stake.
We are working with school districts that have already made the decision to authorize certain volunteers to be armed while at school. They have asked us for help in training additional persons so that all of the schools in their district have at least one person trained. Having multiple people trained and available further reduces the time to stop a killer, especially in large schools.
"We continue to work with other school districts who have not made a decision to arm, but remain uncomfortable knowing they have nothing in place to stop an active killer. The locks, buzzers, cameras, and other safety features are good, but they will not stop a determined attacker who is inside the school. Sandy Hook is proof of that."
Irvine goes on to say, "Many school boards have received advice from local police or attorneys that they should not authorize anyone to carry firearms. We continue to ask anyone opposed to our program to give us a better way to stop an active killer, but thus far no one has a real solution."
Through Buckeye Firearms Foundation's FASTER program, teachers learn about past active killer situations and the lessons learned from them. They develop a mindset that may help them recognize an event to stop it before it starts. They are also taught shooting techniques to use in schools to stop killers and limit the number of people shot during the event. In fact, successful completion of the Ohio law-enforcement shooting qualification course is required to complete the class. Lastly, they learn trauma care to treat the injured.
Irvine said, "Lives can be saved before, during, and after an event. Every life is sacred and we must do everything we can to ensure the safety of our kids."
Teachers interested in volunteering for FASTER training and school board members who want more information, should contact Buckeye Firearms Foundation a www.BuckeyeFirearms.org
Buckeye Firearms Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit educational organization.