Teachers train to disarm potential attackers

Recent school tragedies prompt safety training

Author: Stephanie Serna, Reporter, sserna@ksat.com
Published On: Jan 30 2013 02:14:07 PM CST   Updated On: Jan 04 2013 06:34:55 PM CST

While many teachers are still on their holiday break, dozens of educators spent their Friday in training -- but it's not your typical educational training.

In light of the recent tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary, teachers and staff members from all over San Antonio are learning self-defense at STW Self Defense-Law Enforcement & Military Training Departments.

"We want to give them the skill sets and the tools to be able to make that decision on the fly, under stress in a situation, to come out on top," said Robert Suttner, with the Law Enforcement division at STW Defense. "So they can save their life and the lives of the children."

STW Self Defense offered free training to more than a hundred educators on Friday, showing them how to stop and disarm an attacker and how to get their students to safety.

And for almost all of the trainees, this is a new way of looking at the emergency plans already set up at their individual schools.

"We've never been trained to do this," said Marlene Ramirez, one of the educators. "It was never self-defense. It was just about hiding in the corner. It just opened my eyes of the different things we can do."

Jodie Gee, who also showed up for the training, said this allows them to have a plan.

"You take them down," said Gee. "You actually save the lives of children. You won't have all the casualties that we saw unfortunately."

And if the unexpected does happen, Sarah Villarreal, another trainee, said this type of training gives them some peace of mind that they will be able to help.

"Chances are, you are actually going to have to use this in a real situation," Villarreal said. "Hopefully not, but at least I would try to do something now that I have some techniques."

Sutter said he wanted to stress that the training is not how to handle a gun, but instead how to disarm somebody who has a gun and for situations where students cannot flee from the school.