Hundreds of colleges have purchased a training program that teaches professors and students to fight back against campus threats with any “improvised weapon,” from a backpack to a laptop computer, reports the Associated Press. The program – which includes a video showing a gunman opening fire in a packed classroom – urges responding to a shooter by taking advantage of the inherent strength in numbers. It reflects a new response at colleges and universities where grisly memories of shootings at Virginia Tech and Northern Illinois University are still fresh.
“Look at your environment through the lens of survival,” said Domenick Brouillette, who administered the course at Kansas City’s Metropolitan Community College, which serves more than 20,000 students. “Survivors prepare themselves both mentally and emotionally to do what it takes. It might involve life-threatening risk. You may do something you never thought you were capable of doing.” The training is produced by the Center for Personal Protection and Safety, based in Spokane, Wa. The training drills teachers and students in a “survival mindset,” said Randy Spivey, a former U.S. Department of Defense hostage negotiator who directs the center. The center includes retired FBI agents and others with federal law enforcement experience.