CHARLOTTE, NC- Local teachers are taking action and getting hands-on training to fight-off active shooters.
It’s part of Guns In Schools – a head-turning name for a local program helping teachers recognize warning signs before violent crimes happen.
“We have to be aware of our surroundings. We have to look out for things that are not normal,” said Rex Cockerham, founder of Why Be A Victim?
After three school shootings this week across the country, Cockerham say safety has to be at the forefront.
“I think more when I’m in school about where are the safety exits, where can I prepare to hide my students. What can I do in case something happens,” said Kirby Overcash, a Charlotte-area teacher.
Overcash signed up for the Guns In Schools event to learn how to react in a fast-moving shooter scenario. The goal is a big one – save students lives.
“This is not advocating bringing guns to school, this isn’t advocating violence to fight violence. It’s actually using intelligence to fight the violence,” said Overcash.
The instructor of the class is teaching teachers tactical defense against active shooters, helping teachers learn how to diffuse a shooting situation and recognize warning signs and potential threats.
“Soto, who was a teacher in Sandy Hook. She hid her entire class and not one of them were killed because she had a plan,” said SGT. Irwin Carmichael, a concealed-carry instructor.
Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools spent $19 million this year for things like new surveillance cameras and electronic entrances at schools.
But Detention Officer Rex Cockerham with the Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Office says technology is not enough. He says teachers have to be vigilant and prepared.
There were 382 assaults on CMS employees in 2012. That’s up from 305 assaults in 2011 and 104 assaults in 2007.
“We are not advocating any type of policy changes on behalf of the school system , we are not advocating concealed carry,” said Cockerham.
Guns In Schools also helps teachers identify gang warning signs and drug activity.