Tuesday, November 18, 2014

What Were They Thinking?

What on earth made these idiots think this was a good idea?

Police Officers Draw Guns During Unannounced ‘Active Shooter Drill’ At Elementary School
Students, teachers and parents were taken by surprise after an “active shooter drill” brought the Winter Haven middle school into lockdown as armed police officers burst into classrooms with their weapons drawn.
You parents out there - how would you feel if a bunch of bozos waving guns around crashed into your kid's classroom? I know what my response would be - intense fear at first, followed by intense anger at the imbeciles in charge.
Students at Jewett Middle Academy said they were terrified when police officers burst in the doors for a planned active shooter drill ... Seventh-grader Lauren Marionneaux told WTVT-TV that when the officers burst into her class with an AR-15, she was in fear for her life.

“We actually thought that someone was going to come in there and kill us,” the station quoted her as saying.

But police say they conduct these drills for the absolute safety of the students.

“These types of drills are vital in order to evaluate not only law enforcement response, but more importantly to educate the students and school officials in case an actual event were to occur,” Chief Charlie Bird said in an email to media.

Parents were notified of the drill through email after it was over, but many parents, however, received panicked texts from their children as the drill was going on.
Oh, great. So the parents receive real-time texts that there's an active shooter situation at their children's' school, but an after-the-fact email that they probably never read because they were in their car racing to the school. It's a wonder no one was hurt or killed in a car wreck.
Stacy Ray told WTVT that she received a text from her seventh-grade daughter Lauren Marionneaux after two armed officers burst into her classroom. Winter Haven police told The Post that one of the officers had his duty firearm – a handgun – drawn.

The gun was loaded, as is required. The other officer was carrying an unloaded AR-15. According to Ray, one of her children texted: “I thought he was going to shoot me.”
After the mayhem, the school released a statement explaining that police drills like this are considered the best possible way to really test preparedness: "Parents, students and staff are typically not notified about lockdown drills. For example, we do not give advanced notice of fire drills in order to evaluate how safety procedures work..."

Of course, the authorities neglected to notice that no one sets the school on fire to create more realistic fire drills...
The fear that teachers might suffer heart attacks, that kids might experience psychotic breakdowns, that someone with his own weapon might shoot real bullets in defense—none of that seemed to occur to our peacekeepers. Nor did the notion that distraught parents might race frantically to the school, endangering anyone in their path.
I would be one of those distraught parents frantically racing to the school - and I would be armed and inclined to shoot first and ask questions later. I get the need for emergency drills. But is it too much to ask that they be conducted in a manner that doesn't traumatize the people it is supposed to protect, and endanger those involved?

Here's a few facts to help put the need for active shooter drills like this one into perspective.
School shootings are every parent’s worst nightmare, but fortunately they are exceedingly rare ... fewer than one in 10,000 schools have had a shooting in the last two years, and fewer than one out of every 2,273,000 students per year are killed at school including all types of violence, not just shootings.
...with nearly 106,000 public and private schools in the U.S., there were shootings at only 0.009% of schools since December 2012. According to the National Center for Education Statistics’ 2013 “Indicators of School Crime and Safety” report, from the 1992-93 school year until the 2010-11 school year, there were between 11 and 34 homicides of youths ages 5-18 at schools each year (including attacks with weapons other than firearms), with an average of about 23 homicides per year. Comparing that to NCES’s enrollment statistics, about 0.000044% of public and private K-12 students were killed at school per year between 1992-93 and 2010-11. That’s about one out of every 2,273,000 students per year. (Source
By contrast, according to National Geographic, the odds of being hit by lightning in a given year is one out of 700,000.

Some experts have also questioned the efficacy of unannounced active shooter drills. In the Wall Street Journal, a former SWAT officer who conducts seminars to teach civilians how to deal with mass-shooting scenarios panned the idea: “There ends up being zero learning going on because everyone is upset that you’ve scared the crap out of them.” The Journal also reported several other instances of drills gone awry. In one drill at a nursing home, a police officer posing as an armed intruder forced a nurse into an empty room at gunpoint where “she tearfully begged for her life.” She was so traumatized that she quit her job. Other drills also left civilians traumatized or even physically injured...
This reminds me of that old quote from the Vietnam War: "We had to destroy the village in order to save it." I guess the powers-that-be in Winter Haven, Florida, believe that it is necessary to terrify kids in order to protect them.



Bag Blog said...

Maybe kids need to see uniformed officers with guns (not drawn) more often and know them to be safety rather than terror.

Old NFO said...

Or preconditioning them against weapons... sigh

Well Seasoned Fool said...

Somewhere there is a balance between what happened at Columbine and this idiocy.

CenTexTim said...

BB - I don't think it was the uniforms, I think it was the way the officers behaved ... crashing through doors, yelling, etc. But you make a good point - more positive interaction between cops and kids would help.

NFO - Agreed. Echoing my point above, more positive interaction...

WSF - To me, the comment in the story about fire drills made the most sense. We teach kids (and teachers) what to do in case of a fire without scaring them to death. Seems like the same could be done in active shooter drills.