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Is shooting a gun in a school safety drill a huge step in the wrong direction?

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Firing Off Blanks in School Safety Drill Sends the Wrong Message to Our Kids

Posted by April Daniels Hussar on January 30, 2013 

gunIf you have a kid at Cary-Grove High School in the Chicago suburbs, he or she is going to hear gun shots today. Don't worry, though, it’s all part of the plan ... for someone to shoot a starter pistol in the hallway during the school’s “Code Red” drill. Because it’s not frightening and disturbing enough that our kids have to undergo safety drills that have nothing to do with natural disasters -- now, apparently, they need sound effects!

In a letter to parents, the school principal explained that this crazy plan is to “provide our teachers and students some familiarity with the sound of gunfire.” The police chief elaborates, “The purpose is to take the Code Red drill one step further” because “many” students have “never heard a gunshot before.” And they shouldn't have to -- especially at school!

During the drill, teachers will lock their doors, close their curtains, and keep the kids in their rooms while police “sweep” the building and someone fires the gun. How insanely scary is that? Is this really the kind of military state we want to accept that we live in? I’m sick enough at the thought that my daughter’s elementary school has “lockdown” drills; I hate them, but I accept them. Adding gunfire to the mix totally crosses the line between helping the staff and the children be prepared to face a crisis and just plain scaring and traumatizing them.

Plus, firing off a gun in a school -- even if you’re shooting blanks -- does more damage than just freaking everyone out. It both normalizes AND sensationalizes the idea of a deadly weapon being discharged in a place that’s supposed to be safe. Some kids are going to find it scary, others will find it exciting, but they will all get the message that their school is not secure.

I’d keep my kid home on a day with something like this planned. What do you think? Am I overreacting to a pragmatic move?

Is shooting a gun in a school a huge step in the wrong direction?

by on Jan. 30, 2013 at 5:05 PM
Replies (21-28):
sherry132
by Silver Member on Jan. 31, 2013 at 9:29 AM
1 mom liked this

My daughter is 18, a senior in High School. My son is almost 14 and in the 7th grade. Both are avid shooters, both have had many classes on gun safety, target practice, etc. 

Now, I would agree with Iga, if these were actually elementary kids, but they aren't. They are high school students. Many of whom probably already know more than you and I could ever hope to know about the ugliness in the world. My children are not desensitized to the dangers associated with a gun. 

Two years ago, my daughter and I were shopping at WalMart, and a man there took a liking to my then 16 year old daughter. He stalked her, we could not leave her alone for a second. 

She isn't desensitized to a stalker, or her taser, or her gun. She is more aware, trained to protect herself (thanks to her father). She doesn't run around tasing others, she doesn't randomly shoot off her gun, and neither does my son. 

When gunfire erupted near our house, my kids KNEW the sound and immediately came home and took cover. BECAUSE they were taught what to do. It did not desensitize them, rather it empowered them to know how to stay safe. THAT is what this school is trying to teach these young adults. 

Quoting lga1965:

 

Quoting quickbooksworm:

I don't know. Desensitizing isn't always a bad thing. We are all desensitized to something that would freak out another person. It helps some people to remain calmer because you know what the sound is and what you're supposed to do. I don't see how its different than tornado drills.

 Desensitising is what causes people to disregard human lives, and think its just great to own guns and shoot people . It is now legal to shoot people who trespass on their property. The fact that they might kill them is no problem to these desensitized gun owners. Is that what you want?I don't.

And children are easily confused and frightened because they are still children. They don't need the stress of hearing gun fire in their school. They need to be prepared but not traumatized.We had fire drills in school when I was a kid. Most kids were a little uneasy.We have monthly alerts in our state to test sirens here because we are known for our tornados. But most of us still feel a bit of panic when we hear the sirens, Its human nature,.


gammie
by on Jan. 31, 2013 at 9:29 AM
1 mom liked this

"safety drills" should not have anything that sounds like a real gun. I think this is stupid!

It will only scare the sh&t out of the kids and they may not want to go back to school.

Bethsunshine
by Bronze Member on Jan. 31, 2013 at 9:33 AM

Our local schools had a drill like this last week, when the kids were off for MLK day. It was just for the teachers and the administrators to practice what to do in case of a shooting. They worked with the local police and they were firing fake bullets,and had the school on lockdown, etc. I think it's sad that this even needs to be done now. When I was a kid, the only drills we had were fire drills and tornado drills.




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gcecelie
by Member on Jan. 31, 2013 at 9:34 AM
1 mom liked this

 I wouldn't keep my kid home but I do think it is excessive. Do we simulate tornados for a tornado drill? Or simulate fires for a fire drill? When you are learning to do CPR, do we have an actor fake drowning first?

quickbooksworm
by Silver Member on Jan. 31, 2013 at 9:42 AM
As per my lease terms I cannot install a security system because it is an alteration to the property.


Quoting lga1965:

 Security Systems can do all that more efficiently . They scare away criminals, too, even before the cops arrive.


Quoting quickbooksworm:

I don't own a gun, but I do own several weapons. If someone breaks in to my house, I'll probably do serious damage and possibly kill them. My first concern is defending my son and myself from someone who broke into my home and I don't know what they're there for. Thats not desensitization. I care if I hurt or killed someone. Not something I want to happen, but if I had to choose my family over the jackass who broke in, its an easy decision.



Quoting lga1965:


 



Quoting quickbooksworm:

I don't know. Desensitizing isn't always a bad thing. We are all desensitized to something that would freak out another person. It helps some people to remain calmer because you know what the sound is and what you're supposed to do. I don't see how its different than tornado drills.


 Desensitising is what causes people to disregard human lives, and think its just great to own guns and shoot people . It is now legal to shoot people who trespass on their property. The fact that they might kill them is no problem to these desensitized gun owners. Is that what you want?I don't.



And children are easily confused and frightened because they are still children. They don't need the stress of hearing gun fire in their school. They need to be prepared but not traumatized.We had fire drills in school when I was a kid. Most kids were a little uneasy.We have monthly alerts in our state to test sirens here because we are known for our tornados. But most of us still feel a bit of panic when we hear the sirens, Its human nature,.



 


Posted on CafeMom Mobile
lga1965
by on Jan. 31, 2013 at 9:51 AM

 I think the difference in how we evaluate this is due to gun ownership. Our family has never owned guns. We have a few friends who HUNT, but don't own guns as a defense or a hobby.... My 15 year old granddaughters in middle school are just average kids in a big suburban school....I don't think they "know more than you and I about reality or the ugliness in the world" (so, what is this about the ugliness in the world and why would teens KNOW more than us? LOL  )and they probably wouldn't feel comfortable at their school if there was a drill WITH gun shots included. Its totally unnecessary to have the sound of gunshots, unless you are living with guns and shoot them everyday (which would be a rarity in our area).

So, you're just going to have to admit that your experience and mine (and my family,friends)  is really different.

Quoting sherry132:

My daughter is 18, a senior in High School. My son is almost 14 and in the 7th grade. Both are avid shooters, both have had many classes on gun safety, target practice, etc. 

Now, I would agree with Iga, if these were actually elementary kids, but they aren't. They are high school students. Many of whom probably already know more than you and I could ever hope to know about the ugliness in the world. My children are not desensitized to the dangers associated with a gun. 

Two years ago, my daughter and I were shopping at WalMart, and a man there took a liking to my then 16 year old daughter. He stalked her, we could not leave her alone for a second. 

She isn't desensitized to a stalker, or her taser, or her gun. She is more aware, trained to protect herself (thanks to her father). She doesn't run around tasing others, she doesn't randomly shoot off her gun, and neither does my son. 

When gunfire erupted near our house, my kids KNEW the sound and immediately came home and took cover. BECAUSE they were taught what to do. It did not desensitize them, rather it empowered them to know how to stay safe. THAT is what this school is trying to teach these young adults. 

Quoting lga1965:

 

Quoting quickbooksworm:

I don't know. Desensitizing isn't always a bad thing. We are all desensitized to something that would freak out another person. It helps some people to remain calmer because you know what the sound is and what you're supposed to do. I don't see how its different than tornado drills.

 Desensitising is what causes people to disregard human lives, and think its just great to own guns and shoot people . It is now legal to shoot people who trespass on their property. The fact that they might kill them is no problem to these desensitized gun owners. Is that what you want?I don't.

And children are easily confused and frightened because they are still children. They don't need the stress of hearing gun fire in their school. They need to be prepared but not traumatized.We had fire drills in school when I was a kid. Most kids were a little uneasy.We have monthly alerts in our state to test sirens here because we are known for our tornados. But most of us still feel a bit of panic when we hear the sirens, Its human nature,.


 

lga1965
by on Jan. 31, 2013 at 9:53 AM

 Oh, well then. I didn't realize you are renting.

Quoting quickbooksworm:

As per my lease terms I cannot install a security system because it is an alteration to the property.


Quoting lga1965:

 Security Systems can do all that more efficiently . They scare away criminals, too, even before the cops arrive.


Quoting quickbooksworm:

I don't own a gun, but I do own several weapons. If someone breaks in to my house, I'll probably do serious damage and possibly kill them. My first concern is defending my son and myself from someone who broke into my home and I don't know what they're there for. Thats not desensitization. I care if I hurt or killed someone. Not something I want to happen, but if I had to choose my family over the jackass who broke in, its an easy decision.



Quoting lga1965:


 



Quoting quickbooksworm:

I don't know. Desensitizing isn't always a bad thing. We are all desensitized to something that would freak out another person. It helps some people to remain calmer because you know what the sound is and what you're supposed to do. I don't see how its different than tornado drills.


 Desensitising is what causes people to disregard human lives, and think its just great to own guns and shoot people . It is now legal to shoot people who trespass on their property. The fact that they might kill them is no problem to these desensitized gun owners. Is that what you want?I don't.



And children are easily confused and frightened because they are still children. They don't need the stress of hearing gun fire in their school. They need to be prepared but not traumatized.We had fire drills in school when I was a kid. Most kids were a little uneasy.We have monthly alerts in our state to test sirens here because we are known for our tornados. But most of us still feel a bit of panic when we hear the sirens, Its human nature,.



 


 

TerriAnne2606
by on Jan. 31, 2013 at 2:28 PM

Well, if they live in Chicago, they're probably very familiar with the sound a gun makes anyway so I do think it's a step in the wrong direction.  Plus, what about PTSD for some kids?  What about kids now being SO traumatized by this that they're afraid to go to what once was a SAFE place.  Regardless of what the media portrays, schools are very safe places for our kids to be in during the day.  It's a shame that someone has to do this to "make it more real".  Heck - now they'll start trying to make tornadoes and earthquakes so kids will now what those feel/look like.  Sheesh -some people are morons....

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