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Thursday - January 25, 2018 12:24 am

School shooting scenario practiced, discussed by Onalaska students

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A school shooting in Kentucky on Tuesday that left two dead had nothing to do with the timing of an intruder drill by the Onalaska High School this week.

It did, however, serve as a reminder how important the exercises are.

It started like this, said Principal Jared Schaffner, "Me over the PA, 'Someone has entered the commons area during one of the lunches and they have a firearm. Students start screaming.'

"And then what we ask them do is, silently think about 'What does that look like in terms of your response?'"

Schafner said the training has changed over the years from hide and get down to taking more proactive measures but the approach differs at each age level.

"At the elementary level, we're really focusing on, "Listen explicitly to what your teacher tells you to do,'" Schaffner said. "At the middle school and high school level, 'What is the best decision you can make for yourself? and then making that decisions.'"

In the time of social media and other pressures, Schaffner says it's important kids know they aren't alone.

"Most importantly, making sure that, as much as possible, we have at least one adult that every student in the building feels like they can connect to," he said. "That might be a counselor. That might be a teacher. But that has to be first and foremost."

Drew Kelly

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