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“Teacher Academy,” run by Utah police, trains teachers to survive a school shooting

May 25, 2022, 8:34 AM | Updated: 3:29 pm

PROVO, Utah — For Utah County Sheriff’s Sgt. Spencer Cannon, the mass shooting at a Texas elementary school on Tuesday had him shaking his head and saying ‘not again.’

By Wednesday morning, Texas officials had reported that an 18-year-old gunman shot and killed 19 children and 2 teachers at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas. The gunman was killed by police.

More than an opportunity to grieve, KSL TV reporter Andrew Adams spoke to Cannon to find out how police in Utah are trying to help teachers prepare for school shootings.

Adams reports that one aspect of preparation for police is a Teacher’s Academy,” instigated in 2019 under Sheriff Mike Smith.

The training offers de-escalation tactics, self-defense, and firearms training, with a focus on speed of action and a goal of better outcome for anybody involved in a school shooting.

When teachers signed up for the latest Teachers Academy, 30 spots were available. And they were quickly filled, Adams reports.  Cannon says they’d like to extend the training to more educators, but that is time- and labor-intensive, and limited by a budget.

The next academy begins on June 7 and is expected to run for six weeks.

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“Teacher Academy,” run by Utah police, trains teachers to survive a school shooting