On January 14, a Roswell, NM, student opened fire in the Berrendo Middle School gymnasium just before class was to begin. Two students were injured, but John Masterson, a social studies teacher at the school, was able to talk the student into putting the gun down before hurting more students. Masterson is being praised as a hero, and Berrendo Middle School applauded for its swift and effective response to the incident, citing its active shooter training as the reason. To read more about the incident, click here.
This heroic gesture further proves that with proper training, educators will be prepared to act effectively in a crisis ensuring the safest outcome for students and staff. Some states now mandate training for crisis response, including active shooter.
Two states that are best-practice models for crisis response are New Jersey and Virginia. New Jersey schools are required to practice lockdowns and other drills for various crises throughout the year, and Virginia requires schools to have “threat assessment teams” trained by the state. These threat assessment teams are trained to create a single system for reporting students showing signs of potential violence.