Local Schools React To 'Fight Back' Policy - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

10/18/06

Local Schools React To 'Fight Back' Policy

The training video shows Texas student how to swarm a gunman who enters a classroom. It's a sort of organized chaos the creators hope would stop a gunman.

Robin Browne with Response Options in Dallas says, "The gunman walks in and basically, he is met with a barrage of books, book bags, and everything and anything that the teachers and students can find to throw at him."

Burleson officials say it cost more than 125k to train their 85k students the 'fight back' procedures.

Tyler ISD Police Chief Rex Brown says he's not sold on the program. He worries it could backfire.

"What if there intentions were not to shoot people, and we start throwing books at that person. He becomes agitated, and then starts shooting people. There's a fine line there," says Brown.

Toney Lowery, Superintendent of Arp ISD says fighting back might work in a drill, but he is not sure it would work if students were faced with a real threat.

"I just don't think students are capable of handling an armed gunman, and I just don't think it's fair for administration to ask them to do that," says Lowery.

Chief Marvin Acker with the Jacksonville ISD says there is simply no way to train students to react, because every situation is different.

"You have to take every case on it's own merit, and know what the intentions of the gunman are," says Acker.

Those who've worked in law enforcement for years say when a gunman barges into a school, every decision can impact how the situation will end. One wrong move can turn a threat into a tragedy.

"If you jump to early, people can get hurt. If you jump too late, people can get hurt," says Brown.

Those we spoke with say they admire the intention behind the fight back policy, but they say they'd need to know much more about the specifics before they could say whether it might actually work.

Lindsay Wilcox/Reporting: lwilcox@kltv.com

 

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