NORTH MIAMI, Fla. – A scuffle between two groups of students spilled out into the courtyard of North Miami Senior High School, where one group targeted the other with knives and guns as part of a police and fire rescue drill.
A day after Miami-Dade police, Pinecrest police and federal agents trained in a similar exercise at Dadeland Mall, Miami-Dade Schools police participated in the drill Friday morning.
"This is a proactive way of making sure that we're prepared to deal with an emergency situation if it occurs," said Schools Police Chief Ian Moffett
One group even threw an explosive to cause a diversion, sending students scattering.
"It gives you a preparation to what could come, I mean, God forbid," said Brandon Mora, who participated as part of the armed group of students.
"It's a possibility," said Amanda Diaz. "It can happen any day, any time -- you never know."
The goal of the drill is to put police officers and firefighters in a high-stress situation.
"We take all the evaluations, we list them -- list our strengths, list our weaknesses and our opportunities for improvement," said Moffett. "That document now becomes a document for us going forward in training, policy review, continual training."
"Be honest, in today's society, this is a real-life event that can actually really happen, and I think having these things take place in these types of events, I think that it makes us more prepared -- versus scrambling around, seeing what can we do -- we actually know what we can do right now," said Shena Whorley, one of 200 participants in the drill.