TAVARES, Fla. – Lake County school teachers returned to their classrooms Thursday, but not to prepare lessons for the upcoming year.
Instead, the teachers headed back to school to prepare for an active shooter situation.
The Lake County School District said teachers voluntarily signed up for the training, designed to increase the chances of survival in case of violence on campus.
The training focuses on teaching victims when to run, when to hide and when to fight and aims to reshape how teacher's think about saving students' lives.
The training was a voluntary addition to the governor's mandate that requires school resource officer's in every school, more school-led drills and other safety precautions.
Deputies who work on the SWAT team taught teachers a more active approach that included, running, breaking windows, using objects or barricading themselves to keep an attacker away from students.
Prior to Thursday's training, most drills consisted of a lockdown, in which teachers were only to sit in a room with students quietly with the door locked and the lights off.
Beverly Shores Elementary teacher Frances McEachern said she wanted to know the best ways to protect herself and others.
“We're there for their safety because we're there to nurture them, as well as to educate them and provide a safe and enjoyable environment,” McEachern said.
The school district recently decided to allow some trained administrators -- but not teachers -- to carry guns starting in August to increase protection.