Greenville County host active shooter training for staff

Published: Aug. 3, 2022 at 10:53 PM EDT
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GREENVILLE, S.C. (FOX Carolina) - The Greenville County Sheriff’s Office and Greenville County School District teamed up for active shooter training for deputies and school staff.

The district doesn’t always get the chance to hold real-life simulation training like this, but after the shooting incident at Tanglewood Middle School earlier this year, where 12-year-old Jamari Jackson was killed, they say they learned how valuable training can be.

It’s something that no one wants to see happen, but officials want both deputies and school staff to be as prepared as possible if it does. It’s all about the what if.

“I’m mostly looking forward to what to do in a situation like that,” said School Counselor Janelle Choice.

Choice says, seeing other active shooter situations across the country hasn’t been easy on her or other school staff.

“It’s definitely taking a toll mentally as well as emotionally,” she said.

That’s what pushed her to sign up for this training.

“Reading about it, hearing about it, seeing a video about it is not the same as the sight, sound, smell, of the actual simulated incident” said Dr. Burke Royster, Greenville County School Superintendent.

Tuesday and Wednesday more than 250 school staff members and dozens of law enforcement officers conducted a large-scale active shooter situation at Sevier Middle School.

“I definitely think it’ll help us feel more prepared, they’re giving us a lot of scenarios, a lot of techniques on exactly what to do, a plan A, plan B, if that doesn’t work plan C as well,” said Choice.

Staff learned first aid techniques, ways to protect kids in the classroom and who to call first for help. For deputies it was a way to familiarize themselves with the school layout, lockdown drills, and actions to take.

“We get a lot of questions about the recent shooting in Uvalde where there was a dramatic time issue,’’ said Greenville County Sheriff, Hobart Lewis. “I don’t know how they’re trained there, but I can tell you how they’re trained here and that is to immediately go in and access the threat and eliminate that threat. Make the school safe” he said.

Preparing for the worst, but somehow Choice says she leaves, feeling a little more at ease.

“You know, you want to keep your babies safe. They may not be your kids, they are someone else’s kids but you want to make sure that they make it home to their families at the end of the day” said Choice.

The school district will also have a new weapons detection system rotating around some schools this year. they’ll provide more information on that Thursday morning.