“Run, Hide, Fight” training adds extra layer of protection to Houston County Schools

Published: Jul. 22, 2022 at 10:34 AM CDT
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DOTHAN, Ala. (WTVY) - The Houston County Board of Education has added an extra layer of safety precautions ahead of the new school year. On Thursday, they started an active shooter training called “Run, Hide, Fight” to use strategies in case an incident ever occurs on their campus.

Lieutenant Robert Hopkins, who helped lead the training, talked tactics and shared statistics, some that hit close to the Wiregrass. He explained to the crowd that this unfortunate situation can happen any place at any time.

Active shooter training is not new to the school system, but their plan has expanded this year. The Houston County Sheriff’s Office will send a team in to each school once a month to do an evaluation. Brandy White, Houston County Schools Superintendent, said this will allow the school system to have a fluid plan, and if safety procedures needs tweaking, it will be done at any time.

Lt. Hopkins said children are the most important resource we have, because they are the future. With the large attendance at the training, it shows that message is clear.

“By being here and showing up they’re taking that step to say, ‘Okay, this does happen, unfortunately these tragic events do happen, there is evil out there. So, what can I do to increase my survivability of these events?’ on top of, ‘What can I do to help these children, my children?’ because everyone I’ve come across, they take it personal,” Lt. Hopkins said.

“Every one of the students that come through their door, they have a relationship with. From the staff that is all the way from the top like Superintendent White, all the way to the new person that just started. They are taking that step to get there so with them being here, they know how important this training is.”

Scott Long, a Houston County Board Member, agrees that this training with the sheriff’s office is important for these faculty and staff members because it will allow them to be proactive if they find themselves in that situation.

“There needs to be a plan and that’s what they are going to do,” Long said. “They’re going to come in and teach the admin and the teachers and employees what that plan is, what they need to do, and that way when the law enforcement does come in, they should know what the schools employees are doing and what they are doing with the children.”

White said the most recent school shooting in Uvalde, Texas re-enforces putting trainings like this at the forefront.

“When that happens it makes you get on your toes a little bit and I think sometimes as a school system we get comfortable and a little bit complacent and I think the sheriff’s department working with us and coming in to help us develop a plan will help us stay on our toes a little bit because with the safety of our children, we can’t afford to get complacent,” White said.

The Houston County Sheriff’s Office offers this same program to churches and businesses. To book a training you can call the office at: (334) 677-4882

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