FORT WORTH -- Defender Outdoors Training Academy had already scheduled its "National Train a Teacher Day" promotion to help teachers and school administrators be better-prepared in the event of a shooting incident in their buildings. Friday's shooting at Santa Fe High School merely reinforced why there was so much interest.
"We have three basic instincts: we have fight, flight, and freeze," says Edwina Parker, Defender Outdoors' lead license-to-carry instructor. "We can train out of 'freeze.' We don't want to be the deer in the headlights. We want to escape and evade as our first line of defense, and worst case, absolute worst, is we have to fight for that.
Defender Outdoors brought together instructors from multiple areas of expertise to offer free classes to educators focusing on handgun fundamentals, hand-to-hand self defense, and medical trauma training--the latter two being of particular importance for teachers who don't have weapons on them while in school.
"It's not always having 'the good guy [with] a gun,'" says Parker, "it's really about the good guy having a plan, and that may not necessarily involve being armed. Maybe it's just responding to help in first aid. With training, we gain that confidence to react to a situation."
Those who attended say learning these basics is now a basic part of their job as they try to keep their students as safe as possible.
"They are the next generation," says junior-high teacher Holly Harris, "so I need to try to do everything I can to make the world a better place. If that's taking down a guy that's coming into my classroom, that's what I'm going to do."