The Prairie Grove School Board has placed two district administrators on paid administrative leave following outcries from teachers about a school safety training video they say depicted their families as victims of a school shooting.
According to KNWA-TV, after meeting in executive session Friday night, the board announced Superintendent Reba Holmes will be on paid administrative leave until her scheduled retirement in 2023. Prairie Grove Middle School Principal Shayne Taylor was also placed on paid administrative leave.
The Prairie Grove School Board held a special meeting on Dec. 2 where many teachers expressed concern about the video.
Several Prairie Grove Middle School teachers said the training video is giving them nightmares.
According to the teachers, school administrators were concerned about staff keeping doors locked within the school as a safety precaution.
During a training session on Nov. 30, administrators showed a video that depicting Prairie Grove teachers and their biological children as victims of a school shooting. The educators claim the district took their family photos from Facebook.
Aubrey Crain, a teacher at the school, says this was especially disturbing because it combined her two worst fears: a school shooting and the death of her child.
“It was absolutely chilling and disgusting,” Crain said. “I will never unhear the first gasp of the teacher. The first teacher that saw her personal blood-related child on the video. It was just horrifying. Absolutely chilling.”
Another teacher described some of the images in the video.
“(They) turned on the video and it was there that the words ‘Prairie Grove Middle School’. (The video showed) there was a school shooting at Prairie Grove Middle School on December 14, 2022. This is the 10th anniversary of Sandy Hook,” the teacher said. “The next slide said 36 students were killed and 11 staff members were killed. The next slide read ‘These were the lives gone too soon.'”
According to KNWA/FOX24, they left several messages for the Prairie Grove School Superintendent and never heard back. They also went to the administrative offices and were told no one would comment.
An email was obtained by KNWA/FOX24 the school sent to middle school staff apologizing for the video saying it was in poor taste.
It also stressed the importance of safety measures like keeping doors locked.
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