NEWSBUSTERS.ORG November 18, 2019 – In an insightful segment during Monday’s NBC Nightly News, the network actually seemed to approach protecting schools from shooters with an open mind. Correspondent Gadi Schwartz joined a group of school teachers in Spanish Fort,(sic) Utah as they underwent firearms training with the local sheriff’s department, a new program they were running.
“Just days after yet another school shooting in America, tonight we want to show you teachers training for a life or death confrontation in the classroom,” anchor Lester Holt declared as the video portion on the segment began. “NBC’s Gadi Schwartz on the internal struggle the teachers face.”
The first teacher Schwartz spoke with was Brenda Betteridge. After he noted her hands were still shaking from firing a pistol, she explained why it was so important for her and other teachers to learn how to shoot: “You see, a gunman with a young child. You know, this has got to count.“
Schwartz questioned if she had it in her to stop a student she knew. Betteridge told him you had to think of everyone else:
SCHWARTZ: If there was a student that brought a gun to school and a student you possibly knew, would you be able to stop him?
BETTERIDGE: That’s a really loaded question. It would be tough. It would be heartbreaking but just think of what — how it would alter life if you didn’t do something.
The program was the brainchild of Sheriff Mike Smith, who “started the program after deputies found unsecured guns on a campus during a recent lockdown. His new course, covering everything from gunshot first aid, de-escalation, self-defense, and basic tactics.”
In a conversation with Smith, Schwartz shared concerns about teacher firearms being accidentally discharged. Sheriff Smith spelled out the need to teachers to be armed:
SCHWARTZ: One of the fears has to be there is going to be an accidental discharge in the school, right?
SMITH: It could happen. But the guns are in the school.
SCHWARTZ: They’re already there.
SMITH: They’re there. If we’re going to do it, we need to help them prepare for it.
“Those parents send those kids to school expecting that they’re going to be kept safe,” fourth grade teacher Jeff Mortensen told Schwartz. “Right now, it’s on the teachers. It’s my job. They look to me as the person who’s going to keep them safe.” [full article]