HILLSBORO, Ore. — A group of teachers learned to respond to an active shooter through hands-on training Saturday.
Nearly 30 teachers participated in the free class at TNT Martial Arts in Hillsboro.
“I didn't expect to have to do this,” said Sarah Wadell, a social studies teacher at Twality Middle School in Tigard. “I've shed some tears over this, but I don't want to be a victim.”
The three-hour class helped teachers understand the types of weapons they might encounter. The training also covered escape strategies and provided some basic skills to fight back.
"You don't need a tool belt of stuff or a black belt of training,” said Mark Gajostik, owner of TNT Martial Arts. “We teach kids to do it. If kids can do it, teachers can do it too."
Many school districts provide active shooter training. There are emergency procedures in place including lockdown or lockout plans. Some teachers fear it isn’t enough. They want to be prepared to take action, in hopes of keeping their students safe.
“It just kind of makes you think,” explained Mariana Kinifer, an instructor at Portland Community College.
TNT Martial Arts is considering organizing future training classes for teachers because of overwhelming demand. Saturday’s class filled up in less than a day.