Wichita Public Schools will adopt a somewhat controversial approach to handling school shooting scenarios. It teaches teachers and students to fight back, if they're left with no other choice.
For years, USD 259 trained schools to lockdown and shelter in place and if possible evacuate. Now, with former Wichita Deputy Police Chief Terri Moses running security, the district is taking the Run, Hide, Fight philosophy.
"Now we're saying as an option in extreme situations that fight is an option," said Moses. Wednesday, she lead a training session for teachers at Wichita South High.
A short training video produced by USD 259 staff and students explains the idea behind Run, Hide, Fight -- which Moses likens to the Stop, Drop and Roll method millions of children learned for what do in a fire.
Moses said this new district-wide approach is about providing "options". If you can run out a window, do it. If you can't, find a safe place to hide and use classroom furniture as a barricade. But if you come face to face with a gunman and have no choice., fight back with everything you have.
"Yes, we're probably going to panic a little bit," said South Social Studies teacher Sherry Mariani. "But to me the more prepared we are, the better we're going to be able to handle when a crisis situation does occur."
"I've got a checklist in my brain that I'm going to go through and execute as best I can," said fellow teacher Jonathan Martz, who acknowledged he's worked on scenarios before.
The district's video also has an important message for parents. First, don't rush to the school. you'll only get in the way of police officers. Second, don't call your child on their cell phone because the ringing could alert the intruder to their whereabouts.
According to USD 259, Run, Hide, Fight has proven more effective. She says it has the endorsements of the FBI, FEMA and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.