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Blount Co. students, deputies create safety training video

One great way to teach kids is to have them work on projects that go beyond a classroom.
Published: Feb. 8, 2021 at 6:35 PM EST
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MARYVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - One great way to teach kids is to have them work on projects that go beyond a classroom.

Working behind the scenes is where a group of Heritage High School students feel best.

“It is honestly one of the best experiences I’ve had,” said Zackary Wilson, a senior at Heritage High School in Blount County.

Wilson loves to learn about digital media.

“It gives you a place where you feel like you belong,” said Wilson.

“It makes me excited because I like to work on as much things as I get the chance to in school just so I can like get my name out there,” said Austin Sparks, another senior at Heritage.

The digital arts and design students planned and captured an active shooter training drill inside one of the high school’s classrooms.

“I feel like the one thing I’ve really learned in class, through doing all this is that you kind of just have to go for it,” explained Wilson.

The idea stemmed from the Tennessee Department of Education school safety mentor, Jeff Hicks. It linked Blount County Sheriff’s Office with the students.

“They were really eager and wanted to do everything we were excited about doing and it was good to see that they were having some of the same passions, although not about the same exact subject, but their passion for filmmaking it just meets our passion for making sure the teachers and students are safe through active shooter training,” explained Drew Brakebill with the Blount County Sheriff’s Office.

After two days of recording that portion is over, but editing has begun.

The students are bursting with new knowledge, a lot of it you can’t teach in the classroom.

“Hands down believe that I have so many more skills,” said Wilson, “Because one of the biggest things I’ve learned working on projects like this is that you really need to have good communication skills along with being very flexible.”

“I enjoyed working with all these different people and like getting what they want and putting it into a vision that they see fit,” said Corey Rayfield, a third senior who also worked on the project.

The students are planning to have a completed version by spring break.

The department of education will be able to share it with schools across the state.

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