EAST GREENBUSH, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Officials from the East Greenbush Police Department were in the Genet Elementary School Auditorium Tuesday night giving a presentation to parents about active shooter event response.
C.R.A.S.E. stands for Civilian Response to Active Shooter Events, and is a course designed and built on the Avoid, Deny, Defend strategy.
The harsh reality of active shooter events in schools is all too real in the East Greenbush Central School District.
“People tend to get a little complacent and think that these events could never occur where they live,” Assistant Superintendent of Schools, Jim McHugh, told News10, “and we are actually proof that it could happen anywhere. It happened at our high school back in 2004.”
A student opened fire in a Columbia High School hallway 15 years ago, and shot a teacher in the leg. He is serving a 20 year sentence for attempted murder and reckless endangerment.
McHugh says the fact that it happened in his own school district shows the need to continue brushing up on skills for dangerous situations.
“It’s just a reminder that school safety and our student safety, in general, is the top priority,” McHugh told News10.
Detective Sergeant Michael Guadagnino says one of the most common misconceptions people have about safety in active shooter situations is that they can’t do anything to help.
“You don’t have to be a victim. You have the right to defend yourself and others, and I think that’s a common misconception. People don’t understand that they can do whatever it takes to help other people,” Guadagnino told News10.