I guess officials there have not read the statistics.
A child’s chances of being killed at school are .00003% (not counting the ones who die of boredom). So teaching the kids how to use their books and backpacks as shields – or weapons – seems about as useful as teaching kids to duck under their desks in case of a nuclear attack.
On the other hand, there are some simple safety skills that really could benefit kids, if the schools would teach them. I was talking to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children the other day and they’ve studied how young people have gotten away in attempted abductions (which are extremely few and far between). These same skills can help kids get away from bullies and dicey acquaintances, too. The techniques boil down to yelling, throwing your hands in front of you like stop signs, screaming bloody murder and — this is key — running away. Also kids must learn that they have the right to say, “No!” to an anyone who wants them to do something disgusting, dangerous or unpleasant. (Besides taking out the garbage.)
Seems like if we really want to keep kids safe, it makes more sense to teach them the basics of self defense than how to whomp an Uzi-wielding maniac with the Heritage of Ancient Civilizations, Part II: Greece and Rome.
Although, granted, sometimes those books do seem absolutely deadly. — Lenore