By David Maccar
by David Maccar
The University of Iowa Department of Public Safety has developed a training program for students and staff to prepare them to survive violent incidents on campus and teach alternatives to helplessness.
The program is designed to teach students available options during a dangerous incident, such as the Virginia Tech shootings in 2007.
About 1,000 faculty, staff and students have already gone through the two-hour class, learning five steps: alert, lockdown, inform, counter and evacuate.
The students learn how to improvise and adapt in a given situation by using objects at hand, like tying a door closed with a belt to prevent a gunman from entering,
The students are also taught a technique called “the swarm,” in which, upon the entry of a gunman into a classroom, the students immediately pelt the person with anything at hand, books, bags, laptops (they use Styrofoam balls and rubber guns during the training course) to block his vision as much as possible and maybe injure the attacker, causing him to lower his gun for a moment. Then the group collectively brings the person to the ground while gaining control of the weapon.