WEST VALLEY, Utah (ABC 4 News) - After numerous school shootings; Columbine, Virginia Tech, NIU and most recently Sandy Hook Elementary, teachers in Utah are taking a stand and learning what it takes to fight back against armed attackers.
More than 200 educators filled a room at the Maverick Center in West Valley Thursday for a conceal carry permit seminar. Utah law allows teachers, with a permit, to carry a gun into their classroom. While most educators in attendance were signing up to get their permit, not all are considering carrying a weapon onto campus.
Dustin Ward is a substitute teacher in the Granite School District who is still undecided about using his new permit to carry a gun with him to schools. "I didn't know before. I decided I would make that decision after I learned more from the presentation," said Ward.
Blair Jensen, a teacher in the Jordan School District, is also undecided. Jensen said, "In the future maybe possibly, but I came here more for the defense training."
Along with the conceal carry class, the educators also spent an hour in a mass violence response training.
The CEO of OPSGEAR, David Burnell, lead that portion of the training. Burnell said, "We talked a lot about what happens to the body in an attack physiologically and mentally what happens to it."
Understanding how their body and brains responds to an attack, Burnell says, will help the teachers better protect their students.
"I'm a teacher, I'm locked in a classroom, there's nothing I can do. It's not true," explains Burnell. "There are tons of things you can do."
Those lessons resonated with most teachers in attendance. Most told ABC 4 News they feel better prepared to handle a crisis situation at school.
“As he was going through I was thinking of what I have in my classroom, ways I can implement strategies that he taught, where I can put my kids to keep them safe in the event an attacker comes,” said Jensen. “What I can do to protect my students.”
Today’s event was full but the Utah Shooting Sports Council and OPSGEAR are considering doing more free training for educators. For more information log on to: http://www.opsgear.com/index/page/static/subpage/contact_us