Audio: Simulator aims to help Missouri schools prepare for safety threats

Glen Moore using TI Training Recon System (Photo by Alisa Nelson)

(Missourinet) – The world we live in today faces school safety threats regularly. A new high-tech tool aims to assist Missouri schools in preparing for the worst and ensuring student safety.

The Missouri School Boards Association (MSBA) has introduced the TI Training Recon System. This system vividly depicts approximately 1,400 tense situations. Ranging from an upset student to a lunchroom altercation, a knife-wielding jealous boyfriend, and an active shooter, the interactive video simulator is designed to help school staff react promptly.

MSBA offers to install the system in schools throughout the state, allowing employees to practice crisis management. It has already been implemented in several schools, enabling staff to hone their response strategies.

John McDonald serves as the Chief Operating Officer of MSBA’s K-12 Safety Division, encompassing the Center for Education Safety. He emphasized that the training can be extremely realistic, incorporating sounds of gunshots, alarms, children crying, teachers shouting, and even a smoke machine.



“Our teachers truly act as the first responders in their classrooms,” McDonald stated. “They are the emergency overseers of the corridors. Their decision-making capabilities during a crisis are pivotal in ensuring our children’s safety. Hence, it’s our duty to equip our educators with the means to respond swiftly and effectively to any emergency.”

McDonald highlighted that Missouri is leading the way in this kind of training.

“This primarily revolves around managing unpredictability, a task we undertake daily in schools,” he remarked. “Our educators and school administrators excel at handling such uncertainties. This system merely offers an additional resource, enabling them to acquire a skill set tailored to our current world. We aim to ensure everyone in our educational realm possesses the necessary tools. It’s beneficial as it fosters muscle memory.”

Glen Moore, the organization’s Education Safety Coordinator, mentioned that the system aids staff in mastering de-escalation techniques.

“Experience enhances training outcomes. The challenge lies in rapidly acquiring such training. Much of it stems from exposure, hands-on experience, and some training provided by law enforcement. However, due to budget constraints and staffing shortages, training accessibility becomes a hurdle. Utilizing a tool like this facilitates immediate immersion,” Moore explained. “We gradually increase the cognitive load based on the participant’s readiness. We ensure not to overwhelm them, but rather to incrementally expand their capacity. This approach allows for extensive repetition.”

Moore added that tailored scenarios can be crafted for bus drivers, office personnel, new hires, and more.

The system, priced at $28,000, received funding from the state of Missouri.

(Photo by Alisa Nelson)