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On School Shooting Drills

In response to the "surprise" drill in Oregon that terrified teachers...

IF those teachers had MINDS OF THEIR OWN, they would be calling for the firing of the "school staffers" who participated. For God's sake, it could have triggered someone to have a HEART ATTACK or STROKE - caused someone's DEATH or PARALYSIS. I mean, if just being TRAUMATIZED isn't bad enough.

It doesn't matter that guns were unloaded. Teachers didn't know that. In a U.S. Supreme Court case (re a bank robbery) that decided an unloaded gun was nonetheless considered a dangerous weapon, among other reasons given by the court was: "the display of a gun instills fear in the average citizen; as a consequence, it creates an immediate danger that a violent response will ensue.." Yeah. Especially when brandished by a figure in a ski mask.
"McLaughlin v. United States, 476 US 16 - Supreme Court 1986"

But whereas, in Oregon, the drill was a "surprise" attack, even in a school in California where everyone was aware it was a drill, it STILL instilled fear. Students who participated as actors were themselves terrified. Of course, the screaming and fake blood added to the effect.
"Calif. authorities hold graphic mock school shooting"
"School Shooting Drills: How Realistic Should They Be?"

Unfortunately, educators don't have minds of their own. They're conformists. Really, you'd think that at least some of those Oregon teachers would have had a fit to have been scared out of their wits like that. (Of the 15 teachers, the article said "only two would have survived.") Imagine how surreal it must have seemed. Imagine the pounding hearts as thoughts flashed through their minds: "He's aiming at me. OH, GOD! I'M GONNA DIE! OH, GOD! I'M SHOT! What's happening? I don't feel anything. I'm not shot! Oh, thank God. But he couldn't have missed. The gun was pointed right at me. Wait. No one is bleeding. What? Who are these people..."

Clearly, if they don't weed you out in teacher ed for showing some tell-tale sign that you have a mind of your own, they get you in some weak moment during your non-tenured years. Not one teacher in that meeting room screamed, "What the ^%&*, you %^& idiots! You %^&* scared me to death!" and punched one of the mock gunmen before storming out? No. The good teachers predictably responded, noting how much better off they were as a result.

Never mind that the "school shooting drill" will likely be the ONLY time in their lives they'll feel that terror, thinking they're being shot at by madmen. A school shooting is a HIGHLY UNLIKELY event. Since 1980 (including at colleges), there have been 137 shootings. That averages to just over 4 per year. Bearing in mind that there are 132,200 (K-12) schools and 6,700 colleges, 138,900 schools in total, for any given school, what are the chances that a shooting will occur? 4/138,900. That's less than a 1% chance. Less than a 0.1% chance. Less than a 0.01% chance. It's a 0.003% chance. Remote.
Slate chart of school shootings and death toll

And not to diminish the tragedy that each such event has been, each child's death, but relatively speaking, it's not a major cause of death. The study above shows that, over the past 32 years, such shootings have claimed 297 lives. That averages to about 9 deaths per year. That's comparable to the annual number of children KILLED IN SCHOOL BUS ACCIDENTS. In fact, school bus accidents INJURE between 8,000 and 17,000 children each year. (NHTSA statistics vs. American Academy of Pediatricians estimate based on emergency room visits for bus-related accidents). http://www.safetyissues.com/site/school/school_bus_accidents...

Not that bus accidents are the only cause of "unintentional injuries," the leading cause of childhood deaths:

"Childhood unintentional injuries are the leading cause of death among children ages 1 to 19 years, representing nearly 40 percent of all deaths in this age group. Each year, an estimated 8.7 million children and teens from birth to age 19 are treated in emergency departments (EDs) for unintentional injuries and more than 9,000 die as a result of their injuries—one every hour. Common causes of fatal and nonfatal unintentional childhood injuries include: drowning, falls, fires or burns, poisoning, suffocation, and transportation-related injuries. Injuries claim the lives of 25 children every day."
2012 CDC Report (See Executive Summary)

If SAVING CHILDREN FROM DEATH AND INJURY were the actual goal here vs. KEEPING EVERYONE IN A PERPETUAL STATE OF FEAR, then we'd be taking measures on behalf of not the nine children each year who die from school shootings but 9,000 dying from accidents. Instead of staging TERROR DRILLS, there would be a major national campaign around the issue of SAFETY. Too bad teachers will soon no longer view classroom windowsills as a nice place for growing sunflowers in paper cups. As one teacher put it, the drill prompted her "to think of windows as escape routes." Mission accomplished!

It's prudent to have emergency plans in place at schools. And school shootings are especially horrific; being intentional, they rightly do make an impression on us differently than unintentional injuries. But each year, for every 1 death from a school shooting, there are 1,000 deaths caused by accidents. And so such extreme drilling to prepare for such an unlikely scenario that, furthermore, claims relatively few lives makes no sense. Unless sparing the lives of children is not, actually, the motivation.

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Those goons ...

... should be prosecuted for assault. Assault is the threat of violence (battery is the actual violence).

Threatening murder is clearly assault, and they should be tried in state court and if convicted, sent to state prison for a few years.

As these unannounced drills become more common...

The likelihood increases that people will not be taking it seriously when it IS real. Also, real assailants are going to start using that "it's only a drill" line to keep their prey off guard and buy themselves time.

I could see something like this playing out...

The police to people at the school after real shooting spree: Why didn't someone call 911?

People in the school office: The masked men told us it was a drill and not to panic. We keep hearing about all these unannounced drills going on elsewhere, so we thought that's what was going on. We didn't realize till after the gunmen ran out and people were really dead that it wasn't a drill.

Yes, the unannounced drills are also wrong for

those reasons: not taking it seriously when it IS real AND being duped into thinking it's only a drill. They're wrong for multiple reasons.

But I also question such realistic drills even when announced - with blanks and screaming and fake blood, such as the incident in California noted in the post, where students said they were terrified.

I maintain that these are awfully EXTREME measures given the statistics. No less when the true major causes of childhood death and injury - 1,000X as many casualties per year - are not given anywhere NEAR the same attention. As far as I'm concerned, it makes the motivation for these drills suspect.

When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the Universe.
~ John Muir

Yep, I agree.

The motivation does seem suspect.

I've suspected for a while that these "drills" are being stepped up for at least a few reasons:

1) to instill fear regarding whatever agenda the gov't/media are pushing

2) to condition people for more attacks, not really to prevent them

3) to make actual attacks coinciding again with yet more drills less predictable and to make the coincidence less obvious

As these drills become more common

and expand to other places of business or even other public places, what happens when some unsuspecting person with a conceal carry gets the drop on one of these idiots with blanks?

I think a bunch of teachers should try a "drill" at the PD

See how well it goes over. Cops are the biggest wimps on earth and will probably ALL sue for emotional distress after severely beating the teachers.

Good point

If this had been the other way around, I doubt it would be accepted in the same way that they expect of these people.

Driving home

what a sitting duck you are is the first step in PTSD, not learning.

Walking someone through an anxiety-ridden, worst case scenario is the stupidest learning mechanism ever, especially for a first exposure. That's a set-back to the learning process, not a way to convince someone to listen better. It trains in failure and anxiety.

The first learning scenarios you should expose someone to are successful scenarios that they have been prepared to succeed in -- setting them up for success. If I gave my kid a chore he's never done and set him up for it to turn out as badly as it possibly could as a strategy to get him to listen more when I teach him the right way, you guys would accuse me of tormenting the kid for jollies because no other explanation would fit.

Defend Liberty!

Giant + !!!!

Excellent... especially the last two paragraphs.

Thanks for posting!

Our family's journey from the Rocket City to the Redoubt: www.suburbiatosimplicity.com

Thanks. This "Active Shooter Training For Schools"

is occurring across the country. Google it!

As this one news clip shows (among HUNDREDS of articles and videos), some training courses will culminate in a "full-scale mock attack." Some of these mock attacks are seriously realistic. This is craziness!!! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zkf95snlr0g

When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the Universe.
~ John Muir


Well said.

that anybody with two functioning brain cells

thought this to be a good idea does not bode well for our future.

"The two weakest arguments for any issue on the House floor are moral and constitutional"
Ron Paul

Or this one: 300 disabled students were traumatized by

a NYC principal staging a "mock" drill, two days after Sandy Hook, that began with a woman shouting over the loudspeaker "Intruder" (some heard "Shooter") and "Get out, get out, lockdown" that sent everyone into a panic. Teachers tried to shield students - 300 students with serious emotional & physical disabilities including cerebral palsy and autism. They only learned it was "just" a drill when the police showed up in response to teachers calling 911. It's SCARY to think that such heartless, mindless individuals count among this country's EDUCATION LEADERSHIP.
~ NYTimes - http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/20/education/lockdown-drill-s...
~ Petition to NYC's mayor (think maybe his priorities are misguided?)

Here's a petition to NM's governor after a middle-school emergency lockdown where no one knew it was a drill. Children huddling under desks for half an hour made whispered calls. Wondering if they might die, some left parents good-bye messages.
~ http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=_TYNw...
~ http://www.change.org/petitions/no-to-surprise-school-shooti...

You're right, rocketman.

When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the Universe.
~ John Muir