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Schools in the Ozarks turn to program to keep students safe

Published: May. 27, 2022 at 2:33 PM CDT|Updated: May. 27, 2022 at 4:26 PM CDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - Schools in the Ozarks are searching for more opportunities to train school protection officers.

This week, a teenager in Uvalde, Texas, killed 19 students and two teachers inside an elementary school.

Schools in Dallas, Christian, and Pulaski Counties have reached out to Peacekeepers. The program focuses on the time and math of a situation. It trains school protection officers to lower the victim count. It also teaches the officer to help stop the event before it happens or to rely on 911 and wait those extra minutes.

”It’s just knowing what to do to prevent,” said Dwanye Doran, Peacekeepers Training. “They do have to remember that they’re not police officers. Police officers pursue. They are taught how to stop the imminent threat, serious personal injury at the moment, tumultuous entries are those kinds of things, and how to intervene in a way that is right. There are warning signs there. They’re taught all those 80-85% of the warning signs and how to react to those.”

The Skyline School District in Hickory County participates in the training.

“We use the program to improve our response time for our SPOs in our districts,” said Dr. Randy Dougherty, Skyline School District. “With the training, they can respond to a crisis within seconds, rather than 15 minutes to 20 minutes which is a big difference.”

Doran says a trained teacher can respond in seconds which is a difference-maker.

“A trained School Protection Officer (SPO) can respond in seconds while waiting for 911 to arrive and will protect the child without hesitation,” said Doran.

Peacekeepers will be holding programs this summer starting July 1st. Click HERE for more information.

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