What protocols are in place locally in the case of a school shooting?

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There have been 22 school shootings this year, and 14 have happened since Aug. 1, according to EducationWeek.org.

Most recently, there was a school shooting on Wednesday in Texas that injured four people.

According to the Washington Post, over 250,000 students have experienced gun violence in schools since the Columbine shooting in 1999.

While North Dakota has some of the lowest reported numbers of gun violence in schools, school districts still prepare.

According to Superintendent of Minot Public Schools, Mark Vollmer, teachers go through trainings and drills to help protect themselves and students.

He said they are on a two-year rotation where schools do two types of training.

“Half of our schools will be doing an active threat drill in their building led by the Minot Police Department and Ward County Sheriff’s Office,” said Vollmer. “The other half will be doing a training which is involving more of an internal threat in the building.”

Gabe Rauschenberger is the dean of students at Minot High School’s Central Campus and his role is to offer support to students.

He said the safety of students is important.

“All of us in this field need to be trained in different ways than we ever have been before so we can respond to any sort of threat because our number one concern is students,” said Rauschenberger. “Our number one concern is their safety.”

Rauschenberger said he’s experienced situations where he felt uneasy, but that he’d feel even more anxious if schools weren’t prepared.

“Every time we have those types of feelings, we need to make sure we talk about them. And that’s another really important part of safety in our school is, communication,” said Rauschenberger. “Communication with teachers, and administrators, and even law enforcement.”

Vollmer wants people to communicate if they have any concerns that students may be in danger.

“If you have specific concerns about somebody who may have a plan to be unsafe, or to do something at a school, to let us know,” said Vollmer. “We’d much rather investigate to try to find out what’s going than have to wait until something terrible would happen.”

Vollmer says he hopes these safety plans aren’t needed, but it’s important to be prepared.

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