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‘Every place is vulnerable:’ Teachers participate in active shooter training at St. Francis High School

Data pix.

Blake Peuse

MILWAUKEE -- Teachers across the area are getting ready for back to school. But instead of preparing lesson plans, teachers at the St. Francis School District spent the day preparing for the worst.

How to wrap a bandage if someone is shot in the neck. It's one of the skills teachers and staff are learning at St. Francis High School.

"When I started teaching 24 years ago, not a thought in my mind that something like this would be something we would have to train for," said Blake Peuse, St. Francis School District Superintendent.

In one room, staff learn how to pack a gunshot wound. The blood is fake, but the possibility of a school shooting is real.

Nicholas Poplar

"Every place is vulnerable and we're finding that these situations occur in schools, in malls, in shopping centers, workplaces. Nobody is immune to it," said Nicholas Poplar, City of St. Francis Fire Chief.

In another room, they're taught how to respond once police officers get on scene. And how to hold pressure with their body weight.

All staff, including teachers, administrators, food service workers, and maintenance employees are taking part in the two-day intensive active shooter training.

"We're all in this together, basically. These are our students, these are our future. We're going to take care of them if something happens," said Poplar.

It's training everyone hopes they will never have to use.

"If we start talking about it, and building that muscle memory, and that plan in place should it happen, they are going to be able to spring into action right away," said Peuse.

Each classroom will soon have its own treat-and-go kit -- which is basically a first-aid kit for gunshot wounds.

The training is a partnership between the school district, the FBI Citizen Academy Alumni Association, the Geiger Family Foundation, and the St. Francis Fire Department.

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