Americans are coming together to help teachers defend their students and themselves.
They trained using the Faculty/Administrator Safety Training and Emergency Response program (FASTER for short), which was formed in response to the Sandy Hook shooting. The FASTER system is developed and funded by an Ohio-based local nonprofit called the Buckeye Firearms Foundation, and it is specially designed to help teachers act as first responders in the event of a school shooting.
According to their website, FASTER is “a carefully-structured curriculum offering over 26 hours of hands-on training over a 3-day class that exceeds the requirements of the Ohio Peace Officer Training Academy.”
The training focused on tactics in a combat situations; how to round a corner safely and how to stay protected from a shooter. Shooting wasn’t the only focus, as participants were also instructed in how to tend gunshot wounds.
Since 2013, the FASTER program has been adopted by teachers outside of Ohio, most recently in Colorado. And who can blame them? Many schools are located in rural areas where police response time is simply not fast enough. There are many schools like this across the nation that, I’m willing to bet, employ teachers who feel the same way. In fact, in the rural county that I live in Michigan I have talked to several teachers that are also sportsmen and they wouldn’t be averse to the idea.
One instructor who wishes to be anonymous even stated, “Put a gun in a lock box. Provide psychological evaluations and provide district professional development and I’m in.”
The question is raised, are firearms in a classroom really safe? To that, I think the answer is a simple and definite yes. School systems and teachers are already asked to do a lot for children, and keeping them safe is an expectation. Why would we not provide them with the necessary tools and training for the job?