Utah Police-Run ‘Teacher Academy’ Trains Teachers to Survive School Shooting


PROVO, Utah – For Utah County Sheriff’s Sgt. Spencer Cannon, the mass shooting at a Texas elementary school on Tuesday had him shaking his head and saying “not yet.”

On Wednesday morning, Texas officials reported that an 18-year-old gunman shot and killed 19 children and 2 teachers at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas. The shooter was killed by the police.

More than a chance to cry, KSL TV reporter Andrew Adams spoke to Cannon to find out how Utah police are trying to help teachers prepare for school shootings.

Adams reports that one aspect of police readiness is a teachers’ academy, launched in 2019 under Sheriff Mike Smith.

The training offers de-escalation tactics, self-defense and firearms training, with an emphasis on quick action and a goal of better results for anyone involved in a school shooting.

When teachers registered for the last Teachers Academy, 30 places were available. And they were quickly filled, Adams reports. Cannon says they would like to expand the training to more educators, but it is time and labor intensive and constrained by a budget.

The next academy begins on June 7 and is expected to last six weeks.

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