‘Empowering’: CMS staff trained on the ABCs of active survival

CHARLOTTE — Thanks to millions in grant funding, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools has been training for active survival in the event of a school shooting.

The week before students filed back through the hallways, CMS says 8,000 faculty and staff attended the district’s mandatory active survival training.

Although it’s a heavy topic for teachers, they told Channel 9′s Jonathan Lowe they found the training empowering.

“In having to protect them and make sure they’re safe, I want to be prepared for that,” CMS teacher Jennifer Piper said. “But at the same time, there’s a level of things that, I’m 30, I’m only but so big, I can’t defend myself to the best of my ability, but I’m hoping that with this training, I’ll learn better tools to do so.”

When the district began mandating the survival training in 2019, around 17,000 employees attended.

CMS Police Department Detective Wes Eubank led the “ABC” training - Avoid, Barricade, Counter, and Survive!

The training teaches what to do in an active shooting event, how to identify a potential active shooter before they get a weapon, and how to triage injuries.

“When the teachers leave my training, a number of them come up to me and say they finally feel empowered,” Detective Eubank said. “They feel like they have the skills and the knowledge set that they did not have prior to coming into this training to protect themselves and their students.”

Last year, weapons detectors were installed at all CMS middle and high schools. Only two weapons were found, down from a record-setting 31 found in the 2021-2022 school year.

This year, the district has 30 outdoor portable weapon detection units.

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