CRANBERRY TOWNSHIP (KDKA) — Haine Elementary and Middle School in Cranberry Township, Butler County was transformed into a law enforcement crisis zone this afternoon.
It was host to an active shooter drill, in the shadows of tragedies like what happened at Columbine High School in Colorado, or Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut.
One of today’s scenarios involved the prospect of more than one gunman making his way into a school.
“It’s unsettling to think that it could happen,” said Intermediate School Principal Jodie Perry, “but the reality is that we need to be prepared to respond.”
In this training exercise, 10 police agencies responded and the participants aren’t told exactly what to expect.
“As humbling and as difficult as it is to go through something like this in the training,” said Middle School Principal Dan DiDesiderio, “what we’re really looking at is our procedures and our policies and how they fit into a scenario like this.”
Physical Education teacher Mike Manipole volunteered for today’s session.
“The first thing, it started out with a couple of gunshots and right away you think this should never happen in a school and right away that takes you down several notches to you know, oh my goodness this is happening and this can happen and right away that fight or flight mechanism comes in, where I gotta get as many people as I can, protect them and get them to a place where we’re taught to do as quickly as we can,” he said.
At the end of the drill, law enforcement and school administrators will review their responses, and their procedures will be evaluated by Penn State Fayette’s Center for Community and Public Safety.
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