US teachers stage mock gun attack

Discussion in 'General Education Archives' started by GardenDove, May 15, 2007.

  1. GardenDove

    GardenDove Habitué

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    May 15, 2007

    It sounds as if these teachers went way too far. My children's school is doing a mock disaster evacuation drill this week, with a more benign scenario of a lightening strike hitting near by (We actually rarely get lightening in this corner of the world) and causing a fire.

    I think one year they did do some sort of school shooting drill that scared some kids. I remember all too well back in the 60's and 70's when I went to school, they had annual nuclear attack drills that were totally ridiculous and fueled a hysteria of sorts.

    Link to BBC article

    An excerpt from the article:

    Teachers at a US school have been criticised after staging a fake gun attack during a class trip, telling children it was not a drill.

    Many of the 69 pupils, aged about 11, were reduced to tears when they were told to hide under tables and keep quiet as a gunman was on the loose.

    Parents of the children, who attended Scales Elementary school in Tennessee, were said to be furious at the "stunt".
     
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  3. JaimeMarie

    JaimeMarie Moderator

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    May 15, 2007

    Sometimes I think the media blows things out of proportion. We do a Code Red lock down randomly. And the students don't know if it is real or not. They have to sit in a dark corner with out talking until the police department checks out the school and declares it safe.
     
  4. kburen

    kburen Cohort

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    May 15, 2007

    YIKES! We did a mock intruder alert, but the kids knew that it was just a drill. This was early this year after the Pennsylvania incident. It scared some of the kids, but like I said, they knew it was a drill. And after the drill we took the time to explain to the kids WHY we did it and the purpose of all hiding in a corner with the door locked, the door window covered, and the blinds to the window's down.
     
  5. GardenDove

    GardenDove Habitué

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    I don't think the media is exaggerating in this case, where the children didn't know it was a drill, if you read the article.
     
  6. Amers

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    I think the biggest problem with what these teachers did (I read this on MSNBC, not BBC) was tell the students it was NOT a drill. The school I student taught at had an intruder drill, but the kids knew it was a drill. We explained why it was so important to stay quiet and why we were doing the drill. Prior to the drill, we had a class discussion about school safety, but we stayed away from scare tactic type discussion....the kids were 3rd graders, and they didn't seem to bothered by the drill or discussion. I don't agree with the way these teachers went about this drill. Drills are not meant to scare students or make them upset. Drills are to prepare students "just in case."
     
  7. JaimeMarie

    JaimeMarie Moderator

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    May 15, 2007

    I didn't read the article. I saw it on the news. I'll have to read the article. I didn't realize they told them it wasn't a drill. We usually just tell them we are going into lock down.
    We actually had someone wondering around outside the school this year. And I had to shut the shades and lock the door. We had no idea who it was. Ended up finding out it was just a guy inspecting the roof. That was a little scary. Because once we had the kids locked down in a corner shades and doors locked. We didn't see any one outside. He had already left.
     
  8. GardenDove

    GardenDove Habitué

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    May 15, 2007

    It's too bad we have to be so paranoid. Why in the world did schools end up being targets for crazies? How did this trend start? It used to be McDonalds and post offices...
     
  9. GardenDove

    GardenDove Habitué

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    May 15, 2007

    I was at the zoo Saturday in Seattle. I told my daughters, as we waited in the crowded food court, that I didn't understand why some places were targets for crazies and terrorists, such as schools, etc, when someone could easily just go to the zoo and mow down people in the food court. It was super crowded, there's no security, you could easily have killed 100 people quickly.
     
  10. gumbita

    gumbita Rookie

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    May 15, 2007

    There is a problem with telling students it IS a drill - especially in high school, I would think the students wouldn't take it seriously at all. But the experience, regardless of age, of it NOT being a drill could be very traumatizing. Sticky situation.....
     
  11. teacheratheart

    teacheratheart Companion

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    May 15, 2007

    We've had practice lock down drills but my kids know it is serious even if it is practice. We then had a real one when someone was running around the neighborhood with a gun. Either way the kids didn't panic and they did exactly as they were supposed to both times.

    When I was in one of my first college education classes, the professor arranged for campus security to come tell us to lock down our class because there was a gunman loose on campus. We had a late Friday night class so there weren't very many students on campus at that time. Even though we were in college, it was still scary. But I agree with gumbita, if you tell them it's a drill, they might not take it seriously. But they might freak out if they are told it's not a drill. But part of me thinks that if they don't know it's a drill, they might be better prepared for the real thing if it ever happens. Elementary school might be a little young for not telling them though.
    The thing that really gets me is that they actually had a teacher dress up in a hoodie and try to get into the classroom. For me, that would have been what really started to create panic.
     
  12. Amers

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    May 15, 2007

    That's true. We did have a couple students who treated the whole thing like a game, but we talked to them about appropriate behavior and the reasons for the drill. Granted, this was a 3rd grade class. Even if they don't take the drill seriously, at least they know what they're supposed to do if there ever was an intruder. I still think in a terrifying situation such as an intruder drill, it is probably better for them to know it is a drill.
     
  13. GardenDove

    GardenDove Habitué

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    Unfortunately, I think the whole thing feeds paranoia. I don't know what the answer is. I think the media frenzy surrounding these incidents has led to more of them happening. It's a d*mned if you do, d*mned if you don't type thing.
     
  14. MJH

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    May 15, 2007

    I live in the Nashville area and this has been a huge subject around here. This took place in the next county over and the VP and teacher both have been suspended without pay for the remainder of the year.

    The teacher had told the students all week long that a prank was planned for them. Most thought is was a scary fireside story in which a teacher jumped out from the bushes. Some of the students were okay with the prank and said that it was a good one but a few others were upset. I don't blame them for being upset because I feel this was very poor judgement.

    I view it like this, it's a criminal offense to yell bomb in a public place and to me this ranks right up there with it. A prank is not suppose to cause someone harm and this did. Teachers are role models and everything we do we need to think carefully about before doing it especially when it involves the children.
     
  15. ChristyF

    ChristyF Moderator

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    May 15, 2007

    I had started a thread on this as well, and I said in it, I just think there is a huge difference in letting kids think the drill is for real and going far enough to having someone dress up and rattle the door trying to get in. In high school we had bomb drills. We never knew if they were real or not, we just all piled out. Besides, what is, God forbid, one of those kids pulled out a gun or knife. Or a kid with asthma had an attack? Do they realize how horrible it could have gone?
     
  16. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    I'm with you. I think teachers should have a lockdown drill practice on professional days but I'm not sure elementary kids should be exposed to the "what ifs." Personally if they were telling my kids all that, drill or not, I would be furious. You are supposed to protect my kid, not expose him to the evils of the world. He will find that out soon enough. I was already mortified when our Secretary (at someone else's order because our Principal was on sick leave) stood up and told Elementary kids (pre-k included) that we need to bow our head for silence to honor those who were killed in the VA shootings. Keep in mind he chose the sign that looks exactly like mass shooting.
     
  17. Sarge

    Sarge Enthusiast

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    May 15, 2007

    My school is down the street from two banks. Whenever they get robbed, we go into lockdown until the robber is caught.

    My first graders are pretty used to it. That is, lockdowns that aren't drills.
     
  18. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    May 16, 2007

    We are required to have 2 Code Red drills each year--the first in the fall. Before the first drill we spend a lot of time talking to the students about why the drill is important and what they need to do. The second drill is always a surprise to the students and teachers (we haven't had it yet, hopefully it won't be today when I'm working at home). The kids are always surprisingly well-behaved considering they are crowded together in a small space.
     
  19. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    It is completely different to have a drill than to stage a mock terror scenario. I'm still shocked that anyone in a school setting would think the latter was in the best interests of small children.
     
  20. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    I agree--I know I would lose a lot of sleep if my school decided to do something like this.
     
  21. CmsTigerGuy

    CmsTigerGuy Rookie

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    This incident occurred during a field trip at a state park. The students were told that someone was driving around the park firing gunshots, not at people but into the air. The teachers told the students that they should follow Code Red procedures just to be safe. An adult accomplice flashed car headlights on and off at the cabin, and another put on a hooded sweatshirt and jiggled the handle of the door to their cabin. Not the brightest idea in the world, especially in the wake of the Virginia Tech shootings, but also not as horrible as it's being portrayed.
     
  22. teacherwannaB

    teacherwannaB Companion

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    I live near this district in TN, and trust me- it is not being blown out of proportion. This is a YEARLY prank that they pull every year during this trip. It is not a drill or any kind of training exercize. It is a joke that the staff pulls on the kids. To really amp them up- the staff told them all week to expect some kind of surprise on the trip. It has really made the news around here- I just listened to a morning radio show that talked all about it where people were calling in. I just wonder what in the heck these teachers were thinking, especially in this litigation- happy day and age. They could have scared the crap out of the wrong parent's kid....
     
  23. GardenDove

    GardenDove Habitué

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    Not every kid lets things like this roll off their back. There are some people that are very sensitive, with various anxiety issues, I agree, it's irresponsible in a large group like this to pull something like this.
     
  24. teacherwannaB

    teacherwannaB Companion

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    I think that it goes beyond irresponsible- I think it's just plain sick- IMHO.
     
  25. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    I'm with you. Some kids would be traumatized for life by this. Geez.
     
  26. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    I was too sensitive to horror stories. Sometimes I still can be. When I was growing up all it took was simple victim story and suddenly I was watching every shadow and scared all the time. Nope. I don't advocate that.
     

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