The Times - Serving Waitsburg, Dayton and the Touchet Valley

By Michele Smith
The Times 

Dayton School Staff Gets GAP Training

Training provides strategies to defend against an armed school intruder

 

Michele Smith

Elementary secretary Jeannie Lyonnais took her turn with a T-ball bat during last week's Gap Training workshop for Dayton School District staff and administrators. Only 600 lbs. of pressure are required to cause physical harm to the thoracic region of the body. None of workshop attendees applied less than 1,500 lbs. of pressure from the swing of their bats, according to Trainer Jon Ladines.

DAYTON--Safety is at the top of the list for students and staff in the Dayton School District. And now staff and administrators are better prepared to keep a situation like the ones at Columbine, Colo. and Parkland, Fla. from happening.

Jon Ladines, owner of Force Dynamics, led GAP training workshop in how to use T-ball bats for classroom defense last week in the Dayton High School auditorium.

Why T-ball bats?

T-ball bats are considered by the FBI to be lethal weapons, said Ladines. "With the right training this is a phenomenal tool," he said.

There is a small window of opportunity, or "gap," for staff to respond, between the time an armed intruder enters a school and the time law enforcement makes contact with the intruder, he said.

The primary goal is to ambush the intruder, rather than the other way around, said Ladines, who demonstrated how to be the first to attack.

Ladines said just knowing that a school is prepared to handle a shooting scenario is a powerful deterrent. "Shooters will respond to a collective mindset that says, 'We're going to stop you,'" he said. "The FBI says this is more than having the tool, itself. People move on when they know."

Most shooters are uneducated in the proper use of firearms, allowing for the opportunity to capitalize on their mistakes, Ladines said. And most shooters are cowards. "When force comes to them, they give up," he said.

Ladines also talked about additional measures for protecting students. These included the use of de-escalation techniques, the importance of keeping classroom doors open to monitor for specific or unusual noises, and how to barricade doors to delay entry by an intruder.

"When shots are fired, you will need to make a life-altering decision, so be prepared," Ladines cautioned.

Third-grade teacher Ginger Bryan said the techniques taught by Ladines are the first logical thing she has heard when it comes to classroom defense.

Elementary Principal Denise Smith said the training is just as important for the grade school as it is for the high school.

Ladines is the founder and owner of Force Dynamics. His system takes into account the psychological mindset of shooters and their victims. It is a more effective tool than the typical "run, hide and fight" plan that some school districts rely upon, he says.

 

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