Fresno County educators learn how to handle an emergency

FRESNO, Calif.

Fresno County brought in an expert in emergency preparedness to talk to educators Monday.

Those taking part in the session said it was important to hear from someone outside of education because they can offer a different point of view.

Educators learned how classroom items can help protect students from an attacker.

Sherry Colgan Stone's message of survival had a powerful impact on Fresno County educators.

The emergency preparedness specialist offered advice at a campus intruder and active shooter seminar.

"I had never thought about barricading," said Principal Nick Hustedde. "I had never thought of my staff actively resisting someone trying to get in the classroom."

Sherry Colgan Stone is based in Southern California. She came here to help Valley schools craft their campus safety plans.

"As far as active shooter situations I think the escape, the barricade, the defend," said Sherry Colgan Stone. "What homeland security is teaching, the run, fight, hide. Whatever it is that is what seems to be catching people's attention."

The massacre in Newtown, Connecticut prompted school administrators around the country, including the Valley, to assess campus threats and vulnerabilities.

Fowler Superintendent Eric Cederquist said, "Increased some of our fencing from four feet to as much as eight foot height but probably the number one thing was to make sure classrooms could be locked from the inside."

Cederquist says we live in a different world now so we must adjust with the times.

"It's an unfortunate thing that we have to talk about in this day and age but it is necessary," said Sherry Colgan Stone. "It's like preparing for an earthquake."

A second session dealt with helping schools work with law enforcement to formulate a better safety plan.

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