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Christian Academy Announces “Armed Educator” Program To “Provide The Protection Needed To Children”

Greenwood Christian Academy is a school in Johnson County, Indiana. It’s also a school that is now offering an “armed educators” program to train staff members who want to be armed in the school to protect their pupils as shootings and on-campus violence incidents around the nation horrify parents who are sending their kids to school.As background, Indiana legislators gave educators the legal ability to carry handguns in classrooms in 2013, after the Sandy Hook shooting shocked the nation. However, it was not until May of 2023 that Indiana legislators created a program which funds training programs for those teachers who think remaining armed in their classrooms would be a prudent way to protect their pupils.They did so with House Bill 1177. Signed into law by Gov. Eric Holcomb in May of 2023, it “Authorizes funds from the: (1) Indiana secured school fund; and (2) school corporation and charter school safety advance program; to be used for the purpose of providing specialized firearms instruction to certain teachers, school staff, and school employees, and for providing counseling services to students, teachers, school staff, and school employees in the event of a school shooting” and “Creates a specialized firearms safety, education, and training curriculum (curriculum) for teachers, school staff, and school employees.Now, Greenwood Christian Academy has received a matching grant totaling $41,702 from the Indiana Department of Education for school safety and is using it to fund a training program for its armed educators in an attempt to keep students safe.Speaking about the new program, the security director of Greenwood Christian Academy, Brian Gabel, said, “The armed educator program is something that has been evolving the past couple of years. The school felt there was a need.”

Continuing, he emphasized why the program is important, noting that armed teachers can provide a much more rapid response than the police. Explaining that and the other advantages, he said, “I am a reserve deputy. … I get my powers through the (Johnson County) sheriff’s office and they are 100% behind this. You have rapid response. Teachers are on campus and they are very familiar with the school itself, the design, the location. They can take quick action.”Gabel also explained the details of the three month training program that educators at Greenwood Christian Academy who are interested in being armed will undergo. He said
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 the program will cover firearm proficiency training, how to conceal a firearm, how to de-escalate a situation, and when use-of-force is appropriate. After educators make it through that training, the school’s board will vote on whether to approve that staff member’s being armed.Commenting on the training and what it will teach, he said, “It’s very extensive training and at the completion of the training, staff members will have to provide written narratives reflecting on their training experiences, scenarios they encountered and will have to justify their actions to demonstrate their understanding of training and use of force.”Then, giving another aspect of the screening process to ensure those with mental stability issues aren’t showing up at the school armed, he said, “There’s also a medical letter from a physician confirming their emotional and psychological fitness to carry firearms on school property.”Johnson County Sheriff’s Office Maj. Andy Fisher, commenting on the deterrent effect such training poses to potential shooters, said, “I think it’s a huge deterrent. What we see across the country is active killers prey on schools that don’t have secured facilities. Their goal is to get a high body count. You have a school that’s starting these programs, such as GCA, and they’re there to protect the kids.”

Continuing, he added that the program should be hugely positive for the school’s safety position, saying, “I see nothing but positive things as to what they’re trying to do. They’re trying to protect kids in a safe way and give (staff) the training they need to do this as opposed to just (allowing weapons for) whoever wants to carry it.”

SOURCE https://theamericantribune.com/

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