Challenges for Public Schools

From Elena Ferrarin:

That we are driven to this is depressing. What do you think?

A “lockdown” drill Wednesday at Cary-Grove High School that included simulated gun shots — an element that had drawn criticism from some parents — went smoothly, district officials said.

The drill took place at about 9 a.m. and lasted no more than 20 minutes, said Jeff Puma, director of communications for Community High School District 155.

Two school deans each fired one shot from a starter’s gun at each end of the building, so all students could hear at least one shot, Puma said. District officials said it was important students learn what a gun sounds like, to better react in emergencies.

“We couldn’t have asked for our kids to be more engaged in it. They took it seriously, they immediately followed protocol, along with our staff,” Puma said.

What made an impression on teacher Devin Hester, weren’t the simulated gun shots but staring at his students after he locked his classroom’s door and drew the shades.

“It did feel a little more serious with (students) being there,” said Puma, who had taken part in staff-only drills before that.

About Scot McKnight

Scot McKnight is a recognized authority on the New Testament, early Christianity, and the historical Jesus. McKnight, author of more than forty books, is the Professor of New Testament at Northern Seminary in Lombard, IL.

  • Nitika

    Destructive Hypervigilence. Kids WILL be traumatized by these drills.

  • Pat

    Fortunately these drills do prepare teachers and students for the horror that you hope never happens. Unfortunately, we have to have these drills. So sad.

  • BradK

    Nitika, do you oppose fire drills as well?

  • Loren Haas

    I went to grade school in the SF Bay area (go 9ers!) in the early sixties. We had drills where we had had to go into the hallway, kneel and put our heads between our legs to protect ourselves from nuclear attack. Combine that with the scary test pattern and sound during TV tests of the “Emergency Broadcast System”. I was slightly traumatized, but it was less trauma than I heard from the pulpit on Sundays about the rapture and final days. I think the preaching I heard in church did the most long term damage.

  • Nitika

    @ #3 They can be unnecessarily frightening for children. Children can be taught to follow instructions in an orderly manner without telling them their lives may be at stake.

  • unapologetic catholic

    No they can’t really. The stress on these lockdown drills is total silence. Imagine a class of 25 third graders being totally silent for 120 seconds. It does require some training.

    The drills are routine here in CA, along with fire and earthquake drills.

  • Larry S

    As a Canadian all this seems very strange. It seems some kind of drill is necessary.

    I just hope the kids are told well in advance what is going to happen. Back in another life and some years ago, I pastored a church in Kansas. The school my daughter attended had a tornado drill with the kids huddled against the wall.

    My daughter was traumatized because she thought it was the real thing.

    Lets just hope some crazy educatior doesn’t try to do a ‘real life’ simulation. Wasn’t there a nut-bar Youth Leader who made internet headlines that did a mock terrorist kidnapping of the kid’s in his youth group.

  • Josh T.

    Loren #4… I always found the Emergency Broadcast System test sound disturbing as a kid, and that was without mentally associating it with any particular event. I’d imagine the nuclear component would make it even more so.

  • Diane

    In the 1960s, the enemy was Russia. Now the enemy is us.

  • http://eatingasapathtoyoga.wordpress.com Eating as a Path to Yoga

    So are they going to pipe in real wind for tornado drills and smoke for fire drills? Absurd.


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