Valley View substitute teachers learn how to respond in emergencies
Valley View School District 365U recently led more than 50 substitute teachers through training on how to react in emergency situations.
Bolingbrook High School lead security official Tom Fink and VVSD School Safety Coordinator Leroy Brown spoke to the substitute teachers, focusing on a variety of emergency situation possibilities including natural disasters, man-made disasters, fires, medical emergencies, and procedures during a hard lockdown, paying particular attention to an “active shooter” scenario, according to a release.
“You’re not in our buildings as often, but you all need to know what you can do, when you can do it and how to do it,” Fink said. “It’s sad that this is what it has come to, but you need to understand and we need to prepare you for it. You must do everything you can to protect our children.”
That protection, he said, starts with being attentive each and every day the substitute teachers are in a school building.
“You never know what someone who is going to commit violence looks like,” Fink said. “Be in tune to what students are talking about, listen for clues, and report what you hear to an administrator.”
During a hard lockdown, Brown said, it is critical for teachers to make sure their doors are locked, shades are drawn on all windows, lights are out, and students are huddled in a corner away from the door and windows.
“Don’t open the door for anyone,” Brown said. “A shooter tries to find a door that’s unlocked. If you do what you’re supposed to do and follow procedure, you should be safe.”
While many of the substitute teachers present had been through one of the many lockdown drills VVSD schools conduct every year, Brown made it clear “you never know how you’ll react” during the real thing.
“We do not control events around us, but we can control our response to them,” Brown said. “A safe school is a place where teachers can teach and students can learn.”
Plans call for VVSD to include additional safety and security training in future substitute teacher institute days.
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