The principal and teachers in a Goldsboro, NC middle school thought it would be a great idea to tell kids that there was an armed robber roaming the school and then have a staff member dressed up in a ski mask armed with a fake handgun break into the room.
The school claims that they were teaching situational awareness. However, I’m not sure how it is you’re teaching them to be anything other than frightened sitting ducks when the teacher indicates that they know there’s a threat lurking, but the class is just expected to sit there and let it happen. Follow that up with a fake gunman entering the room, and it’s just so hard to see why this went over about as well as a lead balloon. At least the district spokesman admits that the staff involved lacked judgement, and the staffer who pretended to be the gunman may face disciplinary action.
I saw this link from Free Range Kids, and she made a great point with these types of exercises:
Kids are NOT in constant danger, so can we please stop dreaming up ever more dramatic ways to â€œprotectâ€ them as if they were?
Of course, the sad part is that it could be argued that at least the North Carolina incident was based on a general threat in life, that while extremely unlikely, isn’t completely insane. Ventura County, California schools thought the families of their students needed to spend their time developing plans for how to deal with their children in school if the get nuked. Yup, this is where your money to the public school system goes these days, folks.