Prompted by last year's massacre in Newtown, Conn., Los Angeles Unified is instructing administrators and faculty in how to keep students safe if there's a gunman on campus.
Steve Zipperman, a retired LAPD captain who is now chief of the district's police force, said principals participated this summer "live-shooter training" that will be shared with teachers in the new school year.
While he declined to share details that could jeopardize campus safety, he said school leaders are being guided on "how to decide in the moment how to save as many lives as possible."
We provided them with alternatives and choices that may be available to them should an active shooting occur, and a traditional lockdown may not be the most appropriate decision," Zipperman noted. "This may mean the rapid relocation of students, either on or off-campus."
The U.S. Department of Education recently released recommendations for developing school emergency plans that included a "live shooter" section. It suggests a protocol to run, hide and -- as a last resort -- fight.
Zipperman believes the recommendations have merit but that some of them would not be appropriate for a K-12 setting.
The recommendations were developed in the wake of the fatal shooting last December of 20 first-graders and six adults by a lone gunman at Sandy Hook Elementary.
Judith Perez, president of Associated Administrators of Los Angeles, said the new training is a good first step, but the district now needs to decide whether to install door locks that can be secured from inside the classroom.
"It's awful and horrific that we even have to think about this," Perez said. "None of us went into education with an active shooter on our radar. But all of us are facing the reality of what could happen, and we have a shared responsibility to keep our children safe."
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