All around the United States, mass shootings continue to take place in all sorts of public places. This year, MVNU decided to take steps to try and teach students and staff what to do in the event of a shooting on campus. Students and staff went through mandatory training programs to learn what to do if ever the situation were to arise and immediate response was needed.
The overall student response to the training has been mixed so far. “Understanding that this is happening around the country in different schools and other public places is one thing, but to have to think about it taking place at my school is terrifying. The training didn’t really make me feel any safer, just more nervous about the whole idea of things,” said senior Abigail Brennan. Another student on campus, sophomore Kaylee Meyers, agrees with the fact that it’s more nerve-wracking after going through training. “Even though we have gone through the training, it doesn’t mean that we’ll remember it when the time comes that we need to use it. In that situation, it’s going to be hectic and everyone will be scared. We’re not going to think about what the seminar instructor said at the beginning of the year,” said Meyers.
Although some students are nervous about it, others appreciate the idea and even welcome the fact that staff had gone through training as well. “Even though I may forget the training that I went through for a shooter situation, I know that staff and campus safety underwent a more in-depth training and are very prepared for a scary situation where they need to keep people safe,” said junior Skylar Lakes.
Campus Safety is still going through different trainings in order to keep MVNU students and staff safe in an active shooter situation. Tony Edwards, the director of campus safety, said, “It was necessary to put in place these trainings to ensure the safety of students, faculty and staff for the unlikely event that an active shooter was to be on campus. Although there has been no signs or threats made towards the university, we still need to take appropriate action to be prepared.”
Edwards goes on to say that the campus safety officers are receiving more “hands on training with the Mount Vernon Police Department and classroom sessions with local law enforcement and emergency management agencies, all of this being facilitated by the Mount Vernon Police Department, Knox County Emergency Management Agency and internal MVNU Management.” In regard to Safety Weeks in the future, Edwards said, “There will continue to be annual active aggressor training as well as monthly internal safety department meetings to keep everyone up to date.”
Image from mvnu.edu