Grosse Pointe Schools Prepare For Shootings

Miranda Barba, Staff Writer

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Contrary to popular belief, school shootings are a real and serious problem in this country. They can happen at any time, anywhere. That’s why the Grosse Pointe School Board has taken precautions such as re-arranging school building layouts, and training teachers and police officers in case of this extreme and terrible circumstance.

 

Over the Mid-Winter break, Grosse Pointe police officers have been training right here at Pierce Middle School on how to handle students’ safety. Officers went through exercises to train on the proper way to clear rooms and hallways and locate the threat, as quickly and safely as possible. “We’re preparing for the worst, but keeping our fingers crossed that it’s never going to happen,” Grosse Pointe Police Lieutenant Ed Arnold said. The police department conducts active shooter training about once a year. But, he said, “If I could do it six times a year, I would.”

 

At Monteith Elementary, the teachers attended a professional development training session, in which they learned medical training on how to handle a bullet wound, specifically how to help someone stop bleeding. The training program was named “Stop the Bleed”, and it was taught by Christian Cullen, director of security and safety at The Henry Ford Medical Center, Scott Stockinger, a nurse at Beaumont Hospital, and Bill Klim, a retired paramedic. “With the right kind of arterial bleed, somebody could lose their life in the matter of time it takes for EMS to arrive,” says Cullen. “It gave us that real-life situation,” says Shelleyann Keelean, the Monteith principal. “I think it’s important to learn and be able to apply in that same setting.”

 

At Maire Elementary School, they have moved the office to a more frontal location, right by the public parking lot. This new office has glass around the visitor entrance so the secretaries, Ms. Karpinski and Ms. Stoglin, can see any suspicious behavior outside. The new door has a small foyer with a clear glass wall where an incoming guest to the building has to ring a button to be able to physically enter the school. There are four security cameras positioned around the front door, and cameras at each of the other entrances. The old office used to be far away from the front door, and visitors would have to use the buzzer, and the secretaries had to rely on the security cameras to see new visitors. Due to its far location, if an active shooter entered the building, they would have the opportunity to shoot three classrooms and the gym before reaching the office. Hopefully this new office will be a positive and safe change for Maire Elementary.

 

Hopefully there won’t be any school shootings in our district ever, but if there are, I’m assured to know that the Grosse Pointe Schools staff is well prepared for any emergency. In the future I hope to see more schools undergo the “Stop the Bleed” training, but it’s a start.

 

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