East Bay Teacher Shares Tips to Staying Safe in Schools

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A first grade teacher in Pittsburg took to TikTok to help other teachers, parents and students to feel more safe at school after a Texas shooting left 19 kids and two teachers dead.

Kelsey Vidal has invested in a barracuda bar to block doors, a bulletproof backpack and medical supplies and recommends other teachers do the same. She started preparing for an active shooter scenario three years ago after going through active shooter training. 

But says it was the Texas elementary school massacre that pushed her to make videos in hopes of helping others.

“It looks like I'm preparing for a war, but I'm going to school in a first grade classroom,” said the first grade teacher. 

Vidal has been teaching at Los Medanos Elementary for three years and says both her parents were in the medical field so being prepared is second nature to her.

NBC Bay Area's Raj Mathai spoke to Ms. Kelsey Vidal, a Pittsburg first grade teacher, about her TikTok videos about classroom safety amid school shootings.

But after witnessing the latest massacre, and hearing from worried colleagues and friends, she decided to take her security lessons to tiktok 

“I wanted to share with people what I had so that they can start thinking about what they can get in their classrooms to feel a little safer,” said Vidal. 

And the feedback has been non-stop with tens of thousands of views.  

Some people have thanked her, others have given her tips on how to improve her safety toolkit -  a kit that also includes a bullet proof backpack.

Parents say Vidal has always gone above and beyond.

“Ms. Vidal has always put her kids first,” said parent Nicole Terry.

Terry’s son was one of Vidal’s former students and believes school districts should provide these tools to teachers, so they don't have to spend their own money just to feel safe.

“Knowing that she has that in her classroom does make it a safer place for my son to be, knowing that I'm not accessible to him if something does happen,” said Terry.

Vidal says she’s now looking at getting some medical training -- anything she can do to protect children expecting to learn in a safe environment.

NBC Bay Area reached out to the Pittsburg Unified School District but have not heard back.

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