Cherie Reed, a cafeteria staff member at Chardon High School, comforted students and may have saved lives thanks to her quick thinking and action as shooter T.J. Lane fired gunshots, killing three students and wounding two others in the school’s cafeteria on Feb. 27 in Chardon, Ohio.
Reed and student Travis Carter, a 16-year-old junior, told their story in a front-page story in Friday’s Plain Dealer newspaper. The two told reporters that Reed ushered more than 30 students behind a kitchen door and locked it where they stayed until police arrived.
Watch their account of what transpired that morning:
The heroic actions of Cherie Reed illustrates the importance of school leaders providing safety training for food service and other support staff.
School support staff from food services, transportation, custodial and school offices are in critical front-line positions serving our children, teachers and administrators. Yet they often do not receive specialized training on best practices in school emergency preparedness, school security and related safety topics.
For a number of years now we have offered specialized emergency preparedness workshops tailored to the unique roles of these particular school employee groups. But we still see these support staff under-trained and underrepresented on school crisis teams.
Don’t caring professionals like Cherie Reed deserve better training and support for protecting students and themselves?
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