During a presentation at the Magazine School Board about the arming of school district personnel Jon Hodoway recounted horrors of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in which students watched as teachers and and classmates died.
He also borrowed from the Grecians.
“The Greek had a saying they put above their gymnasiums — they exercise naked — it said ‘strip or retire,’” said Hodoway. “What that meant was it was not a spectator sport. It was either get in the game or leave. When it comes to school safety, when it comes to protecting our children, I want people to have the same attitude.
“Either get in the game or get out. This is not a spectator sport.”
The board, on a motion by Robert Curtis and second by Alfonso Vasquez would approve hiring the Hodoway’s School Training Services company to train staff members.
During his presentation Hodoway promised he would not be pleasant about what happens, absent trained teachers in the event of an active shooter.
“No matter how good the teacher is if you have an active shooter you will not be in the death elimination business,” he said. “Your only job you get to decide is death mitigation because action cannot be conquered by reaction. The only choice you get is you get two bodies or you get 20 bodies.”
Hodoway, who said he has a daughter who is a teacher and he is the son and grandson of teachers, then added what he called the “ah ha” moment for most people hearing his talk.
“If your desire was to rip the heart out of this community, tell me this, where else is the one single point of contact you could go to and effect every member of your community,” Hodoway questioned. “You couldn’t go to your drug store could you? You couldn’t go to any house of worship in this town or this county and say we got it. You come to this school, you’ll effect everybody in this town. That’s what they want.”
Hodoway also provided a description of a school shooter that may not have fit ideas, quoting from statistics by the Department of Education and New York City Police Department.
“Typically 50,000 and under communities are ground zero for school shootings,” he said. “In big cities there’s other things that go on but schools represent the heart of communities. What you find there are three personalty types who are active shooters. They are traumatized; those that are psychopathic, schizophrenic, bi-polar, they have a legitimate mental health issue; and then there’s what we call the psychotic personality type.
They are perceived as happy, Hodoway said, adding they tend to move to larger cities as adults and, some estimate, will account for 80 percent of crimes there, though they make up only 1-3 percent of the population.
“The problem is there is no way really to detect these people. They’re here because their parents are here,” said Hodoway. “They won’t stay here. It’s not a condition that that it is hereditary, it’s not passed on. What you find is you have these people are very much not capable of being there.
“They’re super intelligent. They’re more likely to be on honor rolls than in detention halls. They’re not getting service from DHS. They represent people we want to like but they’re here and eventually you’re going to have a problem.
Hodoway added the individual is highly motivated as opposed to just snapping, and they are mission oriented.
“How do you disrupt someone if their end game is to kill themselves. That is their end game. That is their predetermined plan: to do this and then kill themselves,” he said. “And they’ve been in your school. They’ve seen every drill you have. They know you’ve got an SRO and they know everything you’re going to do because they’re here.”
Prevention, Hodoway said, is accomplished by installing parameters to make the shooter think they will not be successful.
“It won’t prevent them from taking their plan down the road, but it can prevent them from doing it here,” he said. “There is a saying, ‘Not my school. Not my kids.’ I tell teachers, ‘Not my classroom. Not my kids.’ You can’t fix Arkansas. You can’t fix Logan County. But you might fix your school district from it. And that’s really all you’re empowered to do."