De Soto School prepare for event of shooter in school - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

De Soto School prepare for event of shooter in school

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De Soto, WI (WXOW) - -

The frequency of school shootings continues to grow. Columbine, Sandy Hook, Parkland and recently Santa Fe, all led to tragic deaths.

De Soto Area School District officials hoped training Monday can prevent injuries and possible deaths if it ever came to one of their buildings.

Moments after a hooded man entered the Prairie Valley Elementary, shots rang out. However this time it was only a drill.

"I'm a teacher and a mom," Special Education Teacher Jena Tollefson said. "Being in the classroom I was in his classroom and it was his teacher that was acting out the scenario so that was kind of difficult."

It served as a way for school staff and local emergency officials to prepare for the unthinkable.

"Active shooter situations are becoming more commonplace all over, not just in schools, but churches, businesses, public places," Vernon County Sheriff John Spears said.

De Soto Superintendent Linzi Gronning knows the real situation won't go exactly as the drills, but it does allow staff to react quickly because help won't be as quick.

"Help can be, if we're lucky, someone's driving near by, but if not it could be as much as 30 minutes away before someone is able to get to support us," Gronning said.

Shootings like the recent ones in Parkland and Santa Fe can be hard to watch, but for officers it can be learning experiences.

"We learn just like everybody else does on all these tragedies," Lt. Jason Crume said. "Unfortunately, that's how we learn and get better is by what occurs and what we know."

The sights and sounds at Prairie Valley Elementary mirrored those tragedies.

"Today with the blood and the whole take force here made it a lot more real and a lot more scary," Tollefson described.

"The first sign that something's wrong is you hear that gunshot. That's when their that they've made and their training has to be put into action and implemented," Sheriff Spears explained. 

Tollefson hopes the training is never used, but ready if so

"We want to be prepared for your kids and we want to be prepared for ourselves and our colleagues and i think this is the best way we can do it," She concluded.

The sheriff's department says all the schools in Vernon County have undergone training for active shooters and more are planned to continue practicing for the event no one wants to see happen.

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