Closings: Schools, churches, day-cares and businesses

Area school districts now implementing intruder drills for teachers, students

HIGH RIDGE, Mo. – As the new school year approaches, teachers are in training. Not just for educational reasons but for safety in the wake of numerous mass shootings at schools.

Staff at Woodbridge Middle School in High Ridge has undergone intense tactical training by Tier One Tactical Solutions, a St. Louis company that conducts armed intruder drills for schools and businesses.

A training scenario depicts an angry parent coming to get his child out of school. He gets into an argument with someone at the office; he's armed and goes to get his son on his own.

An announcement is made over the PA system about the intruder. Teachers and staff immediately acted to turn off the lights in each classroom and block the doors with chairs, desks, and other furniture as they huddle and hide on the floor.

Both the district superintendent and a Tier One Tactical Solutions spokesman said teachers and school staffers responded to the threat quickly in the drill and took all the necessary steps to keep students safe.

"Anything we can do, you know? We do fire drills, tornado drills, earthquake drills, and quite frankly, we haven't had those threats yet, but we're prepared for those,” said Dr. Desi Kirchhofer, superintendent of the Northwest R-1 School District. “This is a real threat and it’s just part of our drill package now."

The superintendent said students will also undergo an intruder training drill. School begins in the Northwest R-1 School District next Thursday.

“We can't lock down every situation. We're not hiding anymore. We are getting out, we are hiding if we have to and, in the last case scenario, if you need to engage with one those suspects, then that is something you may have to do," said Matt Creccelius, Tier One Tactical Solutions.