Larry Allen, a preacher, teacher and police officer in Albuquerque, New Mexico, runs a Christian school in the city that features an unusual class for the schoolchildren there. Allen teaches the kids to take down a school shooter on a rampage.
And even though training children to directly confront a crazed, homicidal gunman — rather than to do whatever they can to get out of the way and seek safety — might seem insane, Allen has been providing his active shooter instruction for about a decade now, and believes it’s the right thing to do.
Allen, who spent a decade as a cop starting in 1967 before leaving to become a pastor, recently returned to law enforcement as the Bernalillo County undersheriff. He says that children should learn to stand their ground against deranged shooters.
“There’s a time to pray, and there’s a time to fight. And I say we pray and fight,” he told Albuquerque TV station KOAT.
While Allen’s active shooter class does, in fact, train the youngest kids to find a safe place to hide if a gunman happens to invade their New Life Baptist Church and Academy, selected older children are designated as “warriors” — and instructed to fight back.
The kids are not given or taught to use guns, however. But staff members at the school do indeed pack firearms.
“Not only does every staff member of NLBA take the necessary actions to prevent potentially dangerous situations, there is also trained, armed personnel on campus to ensure the safety of each and every student no matter what the threat,” the school says in its own mission statement.
One of those “armed personnel” is none other than the school’s principal, Lillie Allen — who is also the pastor’s wife.
“Who would think that I would have a gun? I’m dressed up. Pearls on. Right?” Lilliee told the TV station. “Minding my business, and you come to get me. ‘Oh here, take my purse please. Take everything that’s in it.’ And then they’re dead meat.”
Allen’s “active shooter” drills are an announced portion of the New Life curriculum, avoiding the issues raised by one Florida school that terrified its students last year by staging an unannounced active shooter drill last year.
But according to what they told the KOAT reporters, the kids at Allen’s school actually feel safer as a result of the training.
To learn more about Larry Allen and his active shooter classes for children, check out the video from the HBO program VICE, above.
[Image: KOAT-TV Screen Capture]