LAMPASAS — Alex Caruthers imagined locking herself in a classroom by using a belt to cinch shut the hinges on the door.
If her attempt to keep a shooter out was unsuccessful, she visualized herself spraying him with a fire extinguisher, obstructing his view and cutting off his oxygen with the foam spray.
Before Monday, Caruthers wasn’t sure what she would do if a shooter opened fire at Lampasas High School. However, after attending lockdown and fight-or-flight training in the school’s gymnasium with about 1,000 of her peers Monday morning, she was confident in her abilities to protect herself.
“I did not know there’s been over 10 (school) shootings (nationwide) this year and I think that’s very scary,” said Caruthers, a senior. “We should be prepared for this kind of disaster.”
Although students in the Lampasas Independent School District receive tornado, fire and other safety drills regularly, Superintendent Randy Hoyer said this is the first time the district had an outside entity provide situational training that students can apply anywhere.
“We just want to protect our kids,” Hoyer said. “If this ever happened, I don’t ever want to look back and say, ‘I wish we would have done more to prepare them.’”
Matt Tibbetts, vice president of training and development at TBG Solutions, conducted the training.
He said TBG Solutions conducted extensive research for the presentation, including meeting with SWAT team members, chiefs of police at various cities, and first responders at the 2012 Aurora, Colo., mass shooting at a movie theater and the Arapahoe High School shooting in Colorado in December.
Instead of hiding and crying in a corner if a shooter is on campus, Tibbetts said he hopes students are equipped with mental awareness for little things they can do to buy more time until police respond.
“The body cannot go where the mind hasn’t been,” Tibbetts said. “Seconds save lives.”
No matter what situation she’s in, senior Kalea Bridgemohan said she now knows how to react.
“We’ve been learning since we were little, but the way he explained it is a different perspective,” she said.