Madera Unified employees participate in active shooter training as part of conference

MADERA, Calif. (KFSN) -- Hundreds of Madera Unified employees participated in active shooter training on Monday.

It's part of the district's annual Classified Employee Conference. The event's theme is "Together We Rise."

The conference is made up of 28 personal and professional workshops - the most popular - active shooter training and awareness.

Madera Police Department's School Resource officers teach staff members tactics to prepare, respond, and protect students and themselves.

RELATED: Fresno Unified parents calling for increased safety measures

Lawrence Fernandez has worked with the district for 26 years, focusing on student safety and gang intervention.

"Parents are entrusting us with their, I call it their jewels, their precious children," he said. "My team and I take that very seriously and we do everything we can to provide a safe learning environment for them."

Fernandez says the district receives reported threats often and deals with each incident the same - seriously and immediately.

Because active shooter situations are unpredictable and evolve quickly, the hands-on training highlights what to do during an attack, using the concept of "run, hide, fight."

The district collaborates regularly with local law enforcement and has three SROs at all Madera high schools.

MUSD also uses the STOP IT Antibullying App, where students can anonymously report threats or share safety concerns.

RELATED: Biden presses for more gun control after mass shootings: 'Why do we keep letting this happen?'

Fernandez says one of the most important proactive measures is building relationships with students so staff can identify potential warning signs early on.

"When we build relationships with students, we see different behaviors change," he said. "That might be even a custodial staff, saying, 'Hey, let me go talk to his counselor and see if he's talking to a counselor to talk to him. Let me talk to a safety officer and see if they can make me contact with let me talk to administration see what's wrong with that child.'"

Administrators say they are working to offer more training.

The Director of Classified Employee Human Resources, Isabel Barreras, says these types of active shooter sessions mean more now than ever.

"Unfortunately, situations do happen," she said. "We always say not in this town, but we want to make sure that yes, it's not in this town. To keep everyone safe, we will continue to provide those trainings as rapidly as we can to our employees."
Copyright © 2022 KFSN-TV. All Rights Reserved.