DUNCAN, S.C. (WSPA) – All Spartanburg School District 5 employees participated in an active shooter drill at Byrnes High School Friday.

The drill incorporated fake victims, simulated miscommunication and other stressors to test the skills of multiple law enforcement agencies, EMS, fire departments and Spartanburg County Emergency Management.

“We no longer have the luxury of saying, ‘This will never happen here,’” District 5 Director of Public Communications Melissa Robinette said. “We know that this is a real thing that has happened across our country and we have to be prepared.”

During the drill, officers fired blank .223 rounds from an AR-15-style rifle. The goal was to familiarize staff with the sounds of fire from the same kind of rifle used in the 2022 Uvalde, Texas, school massacre, the 2018 Coral Gables, Florida, school massacre and the 2012 Sandy Hook school shooting, among others.

“As a parent, there’s nothing more important than children, and as a teacher, there’s nothing more important than students,” Cassi Buys, a Byrnes High School teacher said. “So, this is a good chance to hone in on how we can protect them.”

Upon completion of the drill, the district then practiced how it would move students and staff off-site for reunification at the Upward Star Center.