Simulation trains teachers how to respond during school shootings

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WASHINGTON — The United States Army and the Department of Homeland Security created a virtual simulation to help train law enforcement how to respond to school shootings. Now, an updated version of the simulation will be made available to teachers.

According to Gizmodo, $5.6 million was used to create the virtual reality project called “Enhanced Dynamic Geo-Social Environment” or EDGE.

EDGE creators hope the program will prepare teachers and school staff for the worst possible scenario.

“With teachers, they did not self-select into a role where they expect to have bullets flying near them. Unfortunately, it’s becoming a reality, and so we want to give them that chance to understand what options are available to them and what might work well for them,” Tamara Griffith, a chief engineer on EDGE, told Gizmodo.

The simulation allows users to take on three different roles: shooter, teacher and officer. It shows people running in every direction, and gunshots and cries can be heard in the background.

Both the audio and visuals were influenced by dispatch tapes from the Sandy Hook and Virginia Tech school shootings to make the simulation as realistic as possible, Gizmodo reports.

Developers, in turn, made it so that school staffers are presented with prompts on the screen on how to best handle the situation. This includes locking the doors, staying away from windows, directing students up against the walls and building barricades.

The simulation does not end until the “shooter” is killed by an officer.

The program is expected to be released this spring to pre-vetted schools for free.

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