This is a TNB Public Service Announcement. Don’t Forget To Inform The Teachers.
We at TNB were not aware this message needed to be provided. We were wrong. While realism is a good thing in an active shooter drill, it can be taken too far.
This was recently proven in Indiana, where the teachers went uninformed during an active shooter drill. They knew they were getting some sort of training, but they weren’t told what that training might be. The screams were, granted, a hint…
Teaching is not a particularly high-paying nor glorious job. It does offer some benefits, though. More days off throughout the year is one. A level of respect in the community is another. A third, rarely mentioned one, is the expectation to not get shot in the head with plastic during workplace safety training.
But, at least they didn’t do it with kids present, right?
That bit of genius was left for places like Short Pump, Virginia. The middle school in Short Pump performs active shooter drills just like every other Virginia school. Some of them are announced beforehand, and some are unannounced, just like every other Virginia school.
What made them special is that, for a change of pace during one of their unannounced drills they didn’t bother letting anyone know that it was, in fact, just a drill. April Sullivan, parent of one of the students, vented at the time to the local press.
“My child was terrified, she feared for her life,” said Sullivan. “Her classmates were crying, praying and playing dead believing they were about to be confronted by someone with a gun. Her teacher was shaking and crying from fear. I had to go home after work and comfort my daughter from the trauma she experienced from being led to believe she and her classmates were about to be shot.”
She found out about the drill when she received an unexpected text from her daughter during school hours reading “I love you guys.”NBC12
The school missed the key difference between “planned” and “conducted so as to not panic students, teachers and parents:
School shootings are rare, but being prepared for an event can save lives. We expect kids to conduct tornado drills, earthquake drills, fire drills. It’s certainly not unreasonable to conduct active shooter drills. Surprise drills often expose problems that planned drills mask.
All of that said, it’s just good sense to keep kids from panicking for twenty minutes, and even better sense to let people know if they’re going to be shot in the head. If nothing else, it’ll keep your local Principal from being humiliated nationwide.
Question of the night: Who was your favorite schoolteacher?