Shootings in schools across the country from Sandy Hook Elementary in Connecticut to North Park Elementary in San Bernardino have become all too common.
A new pilot program at Palm Springs Unified School District hopes will get its students prepared for anything.
It’s called the H.E.R.O. program and Palm Springs Unified School District is one of three districts in the state to implement this program. It is aimed at students from kindergarten through eighth grade starting in January.
“It will be a yearly thing so our teachers are receiving training in the curriculum in January and they’ll start the lessons with their students each grade level has 5 age appropriate lessons and at the end there’s a drill to practice.”
The district said their students prepare for fires and earthquakes, why shouldn’t they prepare for an active shooter situation.
“All those things are taught in school so their philosophy is why don’t we teach how to react automatically in these situations to our students,” said Anne Kalisek, the Executive Director of Student Support at PSUSD.
Kalisek said Tuesday’s shooting spree in Northern California that left five dead, including a gunman, hits close to home.
“Any time you hear about students being potentially shot it’s sad it’s tragic everyone wants it to stop,” Kalisek said.
Currently all of the high schools in PSUSD have a police officer on campus. All other schools have a roving security guard.
School safety is always on the top of parents minds, but when we told parents at Della Lindley Elementary School about the H.E.R.O. program they were pleased to hear about it.
“I’m probably going to want to volunteer with that as well,” Rodolfo Olivo said.
H.E.R.O curriculum includes lesson plans that are interactive and taught in a nonthreatening manner to help students remember the H.E.R.O. concepts during a stressful situation.
We reached out to Desert Sands Unified School District. Officials said they train their staff on possible situations that could put children in harm’s way.
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