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OPSB & NOPD hold Special Active Shooter Training Session, Discuss Continuing Partnership to Increase School Security Citywide

NEW ORLEANS – (July 17, 2019) – Today the Orleans Parish School Board (OPSB) in partnership with the New Orleans Police Department (NOPD) hosted an active shooter simulation and training session for approximately 200 school leaders and staff representing 50 plus schools at McDonogh 35 High School.

Following the training session Superintendent of Schools Dr. Henderson Lewis, Jr. and Superintendent of Police Chief Shaun Ferguson held a press conference to discuss the training, school security plans across the parish along with a progress report for the Cooperative Endeavor Agreement (CEA) between the NOPD and OPSB. Established back in March of 2018, the agreement enables additional active shooter trainings and drills to continue for school leaders and police.

“Schools campuses and classrooms should always be environments where our students feels safe. Today’s simulation reflects OPSB’s commitment to ensuring that school staff have the necessary knowledge and skills that could potentially save lives in the event of an active shooter situation,” said Superintendent Lewis. “To keep our students and educators safe at school, we must be well-coordinated with our partners in law enforcement. Thank you to Chief Ferguson and the NOPD for its continued support.”

“At the NOPD, we recognize that it is our responsibility to protect the citizens of New Orleans,” said Chief Ferguson. “Today, we are doing that by equipping school staff with the skills and knowledge to leap into action when an emergency situation arises on campus. We are proud to partner with the Orleans Parish School Board and educators across our city in order to keep our children and educators as safe as possible.”

At the press conference, Superintendent Lewis and Chief Ferguson detailed how active shooter plans are currently in place for each school and how those plans are updated annually with input from the NOPD. This applies to both charter and direct-run public schools. As part of an ongoing security plan many schools in the district conduct active shooter drills, which include lock downs and sheltering in place. Students are also reminded to speak up if they notice anything suspicious.

School board members championed the preparedness measures the two organizations are undertaking to protect students.

“In recent years we have seen an increase in shooting on school campuses across our nation. We owe it to our students, teachers, and families to empower them with the necessary tools to keep our school campuses alert, trained and prepared,” said OPSB President John A. Brown, Sr.

“Safety remains one of our top priorities in our schools, partnering with the New Orleans Police Department is a critical step in preparing our students and teachers for any emergency,” said OPSB Vice President Leslie Ellison.

Wednesday’s training session consisted of a training video, an active shooter simulation exercise on the campus, and a Q&A session for participating SWAT teams.

ABOUT OPSB: The OPSB currently oversees 78 public schools, including 75 charter schools, three direct-operated schools and a school with two educational programs for students in secure-care facilities. On July 1, 2018, all New Orleans public schools were unified under the oversight of the locally-elected Orleans Parish School Board for the first time since Hurricane Katrina. Learn more about Unification here.

For more information, visit www.opsb.us. For updates, follow OPSB on Facebook, Instagram @orleansparishschoolboard and Twitter @_OPSB.

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