OAKLAND (KPIX 5) — On a day where students were staging walkouts across the country to protest gun violence and call for legislative action, there was a teach-in for Oakland educators. The lesson plan was all about dealing with an active shooter.
Oakland Unfied School District Police Chief Jeff Godown told the teachers Wednesday that when the shooting starts, “Those guys know they have between 5 and 8 minutes to do as much damage as they can, because after that they are going to hear the sirens coming.”
During that time, teachers will be making split-second, life-or-death decisions for themselves and their students.
“I can’t say 100 percent run. I can’t say 100 percent hide,” said Godown. “All I can say to you is you’ve got to do what you got to do – does that make sense?”
But if a class does come face-to-face with a shooter? “You are going to have to make a decision as to whether you are just going to be a victim and give in, or you are going to fight back,” said Godown. Again, no clear answers.
What about arming teachers? “Arming teachers is just something I don’t suggest,” said Godown. The teachers in his class agreed.
So far, mass school shootings are a suburban, or rural phenomenon – like Sandy Hook, Connecticut or Parkland, Florida.
“None have taken place in an inner-city school,” said Godown.
Why? “I can’t answer that question. “They are usually done by white males. They are done with long rifles.”
As for the idea of teachers having to take a class like this? At least one teacher said it was a great first start to dealing with the problem. Another said, “It’s something i’m prepared to do, and willing to do but not something I want to think about every day.”