Active shooter preparedness training being conducted throughout Louisiana this week

“... Just like everything else, we have to make sure that we’re prepared”
Published: Mar. 21, 2023 at 3:38 PM CDT|Updated: Mar. 21, 2023 at 10:37 PM CDT
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SHREVEPORT, La. (KSLA) — The Louisiana Education Department is sponsoring active shooter training that’s designed to prepare early childhood educators, not scare them. No live or simulated ammunition is used.

The first session was held Tuesday evening in Shreveport. Felicia Polidore, an early childhood educator, was among attendees.

“We’re working with young children. And we feel like children going to school is safe, but that is no longer in this world today. So that’s why we’re here.”

Other training sessions are scheduled this week in Alexandria, Lake Charles, Lafayette, New Orleans and Baton Rouge.

“The need is just out there. These incidents are happening more frequently. And they’re happening in more and more places. So just like everything else, we have to make sure that we’re prepared,” said Andrew Roszak, executive director of the Institute for Childhood Preparedness, which is conducting the training.

There were 647 mass shootings in the U.S. in 2022, down slightly from 693 in 2021. And there already have been 79 mass shootings this year.

What’s unique about this training is its audience.

“We believe that it’s essential for those working in early childhood education to be prepared for any eventuality,” Roszak said. “Our trainings are designed to empower early childhood professionals with the tools and resources they need to keep children safe in the event of an emergency.”

The institute says it’s the only organization offering specially developed active shooter preparedness training that caters to early childhood educators, the workforce charged with caring for children ages 0-5, our youngest and most vulnerable population.

“The institute’s instructors are award-winning first responders with extensive experience in both early childhood education and emergency response. They are dedicated to providing personalized, evidence-based training to early childhood professionals with a focus on those caring for infants and toddlers,” says a statement from the organization.

The training provides tools to help childcare professionals develop an individualized active shooter emergency plan. A range of topics also will be covered, including threat assessment, emergency planning and active shooter response. Participants will have the opportunity to practice emergency procedures in a controlled environment and receive feedback from experienced trainers.

“We focus on our classes with ways to keep the kids calm, ways to project that confidence and, most importantly, ways to train so if the unthinkable does happen, we’re not trying for the first time. We have a plan on what to do,” Roszak said.


  • Shreveport
    • March 21 6-9 p.m.
    • NSU Nursing School, 1800 Elizabeth Ave.
  • Alexandria
    • March 22 2-5 p.m.
    • Rapides Parish School Board Media Center, 502 Beauregard St.
  • Lake Charles
    • March 23 3-6 p.m.
    • JFK Elementary School, 2001 Russell St.
  • Lafayette
    • March 24 2:30-5:30 p.m.
    • 6101 Johnson St.
  • New Orleans
    • March 24 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
    • Gretna Library meeting room, 102 Willow Drive in Gretna
  • Baton Rouge
    • March 25 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
    • 11300 Greenwell Springs Road

Tabletop sessions are for owners, directors and others with decision-making authority. They are designed to strengthen problem-solving abilities, identify resources and forge working relationships between different organizations and entities.


  • Monroe
    • March 22 11 a.m.-2 p.m.
    • The Children’s Coalition, 117 Hall St.
  • Lake Charles
    • March 24 3-6 p.m.
    • JFK Elementary School, 2001 Russell St.
  • New Orleans
    • March 25 1:30-4:30 p.m.
    • Gretna Library meeting room, 102 Willow Drive in Gretna
  • Baton Rouge
    • March 25 1-4 p.m.
    • 11300 Greenwell Springs Road