‘Duck And Cover’ In The 21st Century

May 14, 2007

I saw this on the memeorandum page: Teachers stage fake gunman attack on sixth-graders

MURFREESBORO, Tennessee (AP) — Staff members of an elementary school staged a fictitious gun attack on students during a class trip, telling them it was not a drill as the children cried and hid under tables.

The mock attack Thursday night was intended as a learning experience and lasted five minutes during the weeklong trip to a state park, said Scales Elementary School Assistant Principal Don Bartch, who led the trip.

“We got together and discussed what we would have done in a real situation,” he said.

Now, as depressing as this sounds (the fact that such a drill would be needed at all), I think this probably makes more sense than the old ‘Duck and Cover’ drills taught in American grade schools decades ago.  I think it’s less about the actual ‘ducking and covering’ , and more about creating awareness amongst impressionable youth about the modern risks of attending school.  ‘Cause, let’s face it, we seem to have a problem with school shootings in this country

I’m not sure this would have been the best way to approach it, however.  When I was in high school, all we really had was the occasional fire drill.  The difference was, I guess, that we knew it was a drill.  Nevertheless, we did it often enough so that when that buzzer rang, the majority of us would line up like Pavlovian dogs and exit the building in an orderly manner.  That’s a good thing.  But this?  Scaring the crap out of some elementary school kids?  Good grief. 

It’s be interesting to compare how many children and faculty have been killed by fires vs. crazed gunmen.  I’m leaning toward the gunmen.  So, maybe this school had the right idea, but I think they should rethink the execution.


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