Teachers should throw items and assault, choke and subdue intruders and school shooters, Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine instructs teachers in his office’s latest school safety and emergency plan template.
An ongoing review of DeWine’s plan reveals that on page 59 of the Ohio Attorney General’s School Safety/Emergency Operations Plan Template released on Friday, teachers are directed:
“If an active shooter or intruder enters the classroom use WHATEVER means necessary to keep your students safe. This may include any and all forms of resistance to the threat.
If an intruder enters and begins shooting, any and all actions to stop the shooter are justified. This includes moving about the room to lessen accuracy, throwing items (books, computers, phones, book bags) to create confusion, exiting out windows, and confronting (assault, subdue, choke) to stop the intruder. Tell students to get out anyway possible and move to another location.”
Some school security experts believe DeWine’s manual may be the first in the nation where a state attorney general or other government agency has specifically instructed school teachers and/or students to attack intruders and school shooters.
Many veteran school security, law enforcement, and school psychology experts believe such advice is high-risk and high-liability. They cite the failure of such plans to consider the impact of age and developmental factors, special needs students (autistic, physically-challenged, behavioral disorders, etc.), the psychological impact on young children, and other child and school-specific considerations.
DeWine’s recommendations for throwing things at, and then attacking, intruders and school shooters closely resembles the “Counter” method taught in the controversial ALICE training program that originated in Texas and has garnered increased scrutiny after the Sandy Hook school shooting.
Critics also question whether such instructions from state government, police and school administrators oversteps parental boundaries by instructing teachers and students to attack intruders and gunmen without parental knowledge and/or consent.
The Ohio Attorney General’s instructions as a part of an official state recommended model plan also raises questions as to the legal implications for his office and schools that adopt the controversial model. Should a school or school district adopt his model plan and a child get hurt or killed as a result of state agency direction to attack armed gunmen, many experts believe the victims’ families would hold the school and AG’s office liable for what many consider questionable guidance.