Quintiere has talked to her students about
“Lockdown with Options,” a new safety
protocol that MCPS is adopting to help
prepare schools for an incident involving
an armed assailant.
they received their own training two days
earlier with county police o;cers.
“Even if you don’t feel confident, [the
students] have to think that you are a
badass,” she says after the 30-minute
classroom training session. “;ey have
to think that even though I am a 48-year-
old woman, I will kick anyone’s butt who
comes into that room, and I will risk my
life. To me, that’s part of the job now. You
have to be willing to risk your life.”
NO TEACHER OR ADMINISTRATOR
wants to consider that they might have
to involve their students in fending o;
an armed intruder. But for local public
and private schools, training teachers
and students for such a scenario has
become as important to school safety as
securing buildings and fostering trust so
that students feel comfortable reporting
anything that’s troubling.
;e proactive approach—such as the
training used by MCPS and the ALICE
(Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter,
Evacuate) training employed by some
local private schools—expands beyond
the traditional practice of locking doors,
turning off lights and taking cover in
rooms while waiting for help to arrive.
By providing the active-shooter training
to sta; and students, MCPS is adopting
an approach that may soon be required by
law in all Maryland public schools, o;cials
say. ;e Maryland Safe to Learn Act of
2018 authorizes the state Department of
Education to adopt regulations regarding
the use of age-appropriate active-shooter
drills, and o;cials say they expect such
drills will be added to those already
practiced in schools.
Adoption of the “Avoid, Deny, Defend”
model, currently used in other school
districts and many workplaces across the
nation, marks a sea change in the way
educators are being trained to respond
to school threats. For MCPS, the change
in protocol comes in the wake of the Feb.
14, 2018, mass shooting at a high school in
Parkland, Florida, and a deadly shooting
about five weeks later at Great Mills High
School in St. Mary’s County, Maryland.
Along with proposals to arm teachers, the
approach is fueling heated conversations