A shooting at a school. It’s a modern day reality that has become the nightmare of many parents. The S.A.V.E. Yourself Program was developed by a former Sioux City police officer. It’s designed to show teachers and other school staff how to think critically in an active shooter situation to keep them and their students safe. The program was shown in front of a large number of Sioux City School District faculty at the West High School Auditorium, part of the district’s commitment to safety.
“If you can get out, get out,” said program creator Chad Sheehan. “If you can’t run and get away, then you should probably thinking about where can you barricade yourself, shelter in place, and start creating barriers to keep the threat away from you for as long as possible.”
The program’s main goal is survival. It encourages immediate action if someone encounters a shooter, and teaches that doing nothing is the worst thing you can do.
“If that’s all you’ve prepared to do, is hide,” Sheehan says. “And the bad guy finds you, you’ve set yourself up for failure.”
“It was a great reminder of letting your mama bear come out in the time of need,” said West High math teacher Jamie Bratvold. “Not being afraid to unleash the protector inside of us and doing whatever it takes to keep our kids safe.”
Teachers and staff we spoke with say attending a lecture like this better prepares them to keep themselves and their students safe in a school shooting.
“Doing whatever it takes, whatever it takes.” said West High secretary Stacy Olson. “If that means staying put, if that means breaking out windows to get out, if that means attacking the person who’s trying to attack me, because I’m going home.”
More info about the S.A.V.E. Yourself program and the benefits it offers can be found here.