Teaching from local mass shooting expert gaining national attention

Local News

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — It’s a technique used in thousands of schools across the country to ensure the safety of students: The Standard Response Protocol.

NewsChannel 9 first reported on the training when the Syracuse City School District began implementing it last year. Now, it’s getting national attention, with Fox News doing a feature on SRP in April and CNN is visiting the city for a closer look at the training this month.

NewsChannel 9 got an inside look at the training Wednesday happening at Dr. Weeks Elementary School. The leader of the project is an Associate Professor for SUNY Oswego and a mass shooting expert, Dr. Jaclyn Schildkraut. She’s teaching students and staff how to follow the standard response protocol, or SRP.

“We noticed there were some patterns with the entire school, when an alarm would go off, when we would make an announcement, some of our classrooms would kind of scream, thinking it was real,” said Diane Vitello, Principal at Dr. Weeks.

Since learning about SRP, Vitello said the kids are taking the drills more seriously.

“It’s important because all adults here want to keep you safe so you don’t get hurt,” said Levi Duffy, a fourth grader at Dr. Weeks.

Aside from the presentations, every school within the district has posters displayed throughout the schools, telling teachers and students they need to remember three things once they hear the principal over the loudspeaker for a lockdown. Those three things include: locks, lights, out of sight. That means locking the door, turning the lights off and then being out of sight from anyone outside.

“One of the ways that we can also test is we can do this (knocks on door) and that’s to simulate somebody trying to get into the room. We don’t have anybody coming back to the door so they are doing exactly what they’re supposed to do,” Dr. Schildkraut said.

Dr. Schildkraut said whoever is meant to come in would have a key. Tips and tricks allowing teaching moments rather than causing panic.

“That’s what we’ve been able to do using SRP training, is to show, you can conduct them in a healthy and productive and learning manner so that they’re still getting the information but they’re not coming home traumatized by getting it,” Dr. Schildkraut said.

CNN plans on visiting the Syracuse City School District within the next couple of weeks to see how the training works. Though the program was created in Colorado, it’s now being used in 25,000 districts across the country.

More from NewsChannel 9:

For more local news, follow Julia LeBlanc on Twitter @JulialeblancNC9.

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