Parkway teachers and staff take part in an intruder training program

Chairs flew across the room, desks flipped up in ceiling-high stacks, electrical cords secured door arms and 236 teachers, administrators and staff jumped out of windows to avoid an intruder on Thursday, Aug. 7 during a school-wide intruder training drill.

“It was the most impactful training I’ve ever had in my time here,” building manager Scott Bollman said. “It was so much more based on reality.”

The training sorted teachers and staff into groups of 20.

“It consisted of a short seminar by St. Louis County on recent school shootings. Then, we had four role playing scenarios after that,” school resource officer Scott Scoggins said.

The first of these scenarios required teachers to secure their rooms so no one could enter. The second prompted them to try to run in the case that the intruder’s location was far away from the classroom.

I just instinctively threw a chair at [the intruder].”

— Lou Jobst, MOSAICS teacher

The third scenario required teachers to encounter an intruder.

“I just instinctively threw [a chair] at him,” said MOSAICS teacher Lou Jobst.

For the final scenario, teachers were given no warning as to what to expect.

“You only have a split second to respond [to real intruder situations],” Desi Kirchhofer, Parkway’s assistant superintendent said.

In the end, those who participated in the drills agreed that the eight-hour program was beneficial.

“I felt like I was pretty confident and pretty knowledgeable, but what surprised me was the multitude of options that we hadn’t considered. In the past, teachers were given one option: turn off the lights and hide. Now they have options,” Kirchhofer said. “We live in a changing world. What we’re teaching and learning isn’t just related to school.”

There are an average of 300 shootings per day across the world according to the Washington Post and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“Unless it’s 30 kids or 30 adults killed, it doesn’t make the news,” Jobst said.

Parkway is proposing a $4 million bond issue on the November ballot which will include the replacement of all classroom door locks, safety film to door glazing and the addition of a public address/intercom system.

“Keeping people safe is our priority,” Kirchhofer said.