Teachers learn how to react to emergency situations

BRISTOL, Va. - Teachers learn to fight back against a potential threat, thanks to a special class Wednesday. Bristol Virginia School officials want to make sure that their educators are prepared in case someone tries to harm them or their students.

We sat in on the class and learned the school system started this training last summer. But things changed this winter with the tragic shootings in Newtown, Connecticut. Bristol Virginia Police say these lessons are simply to give everyone in the classroom a fighting chance.

Teachers in Bristol, Virginia are back in class, but what they're learning is how to better protect their students in case a shooter ever storms into their classroom.

Their teacher, Lieutenant Charles Robinette with the Bristol Virginia Police Department, "Get them [teachers] in the mindset of 'I will survive this, I will be prepared and I will survive this incident.' It's just a way of getting them through what could happen and having them react appropriately."

Robinette shows the teachers how most people react in stressful and dangerous situations to help manage their fear.

He also shared surveillance video portraying the Columbine massacre. "It's really emotional. I've got two small children of my own in the school system, so it's really hard to see that and think about it," said Jenny Snead an Elementary Art Teacher.

But there's a lesson here, teachers are finding out about tools in the classroom that could save their life, like a coffee mug or pencil.

As well as defense tactics to remove a gun from the shooter. School Superintendent Mark Lineburg says this practice will make Bristol Virginia schools even safer, "We have a buzzing system in each school, a single access point of entry at every single school, everybody has a crisis plan in place."

And the lessons teachers learned today, could be used in the classroom tomorrow. "To let them [students] know that fighting is the most important part. If somebody comes into the room, you have to be prepared to fight," said Holly Rolen a 3rd Grade Teacher.

News 5 also learned Bristol Virginia Schools are working with police and city leaders to get School Resource Officers in every school, right now it's a question of funding.

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