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Lewiston Public Schools hosts active shooter training for staff

The district hosted beginner trainings and advanced active shooter scenarios for teachers and staff the day after students left for summer vacation.

LEWISTON, Maine — Lewiston Public Schools said goodbye to their students Wednesday while the teachers and staff stayed behind. 

They stayed put to train for an active shooter scenario.

It's part of a program called Avoid, Deny, Defend, and contains best practice protocols from Texas A&M University.

While some staff members listened in a group and debated scenario settings, a select few members of the school community participated in active shooter scenarios in real-time.

"In today's world, we do our very best to build great relationships with students which I think is the number one defense, then immediately after that we have to make sure staff are equipped ... unfortunately, it's a possibility and we have to be prepared," Lewiston Public Schools Superintendent Jake Langlais said.

Langlais watched over the training, which took place in every school in the district.

"They don't do it for the money, they do it for the kids, and the idea they have to [do] this someday is gut-wrenching," Langlais said.

Lewiston Public Schools Executive Director of Operations Bill Grant said the training was planned well before the pandemic, but recent tragedies in Buffalo and Uvalde add extra impact to the necessity of this training.

"The biggest thing is at the end of this training our staff is empowered to make decisions in this situation," Grant said.

Lewiston Public Schools said it wants to implement the real-time scenario training to students and families starting in the fall semester, but only after they complete the auditorium group setting version.

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