Oath Keepers, a national association of over 20,000 military, police, and first responders, is offering free instruction in self defense, including the use of firearms and other tools of self-defense, to all teachers and school staff in the United States. This initiative is in response to the recent tragic mass shooting at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. The volunteer instructors will be drawn from the member rolls of Oath Keepers in each state. Those instructors will be paired up with any teachers and school staff in the same state who contact Oath Keepers and request instruction.
The organization pledges to keep their identity confidential, but will also offer group lessons or to come to the school to teach the staff on-site. Topics will include crime awareness and crisis minset training on how to effectively respond (and especially focused on mass-shootings), use of blunt objects and improvised objects for self-defense, use of knives, use of pepper spray, empty-hand defensive tactics (such as are taught in military combatives), and methods of disarming an attacker who is armed with guns or knives, as well as use of firearms. The first responders within the organization are being asked to volunteer to teach emergency first aid for serious trauma, including gunshot and knife wounds.
Oath Keepers Founder, Stewart Rhodes, issued a statement:
Children deserve to be defended. And the teachers and staff who are responsible for children during the school day deserve to know how to defend them – effectively, decisively, and at the very outset of an attack. And they deserve a fighting chance to defend themselves as well. It is not enough to tell them to sit tight and wait for the police to arrive. All too often, by the time the police get there, it is too late.
Teachers and school administrative staff need the tools and training to put a stop to the killing themselves. We have a duty to provide that training. Many of our members within Oath Keepers have substantial training and experience from their time in the military, police services, and service as first responders. Many of our members also have substantial training in both armed and unarmed self-defense methods from their continued study after service, or in addition to the training received while in service. We are calling on them to step up and volunteer their time, at no charge to the teachers and school staff, to pass on that vital, valuable knowledge.
Oath keepers is compiling a list of volunteer instructors in each state, that teachers and staff can select from. When a teacher or staff member contacts us, we will provide them with the contact information for the volunteer instructors in their area. They can then contact those instructors, and their identity will be kept strictly confidential. All instructors will sign a written confidentiality agreement to not disclose the identity of any teachers or staff who seek out instruction unless, and until they secure written permission from that particular student. The default will be complete confidentiality and non-disclosure of the identity of those seeking training, out of respect for their privacy.
However, if a school district or school faculty desires to have group instruction, or on-site instruction, that too will be available.