From Wyoming’s fsbzkzfeaz
trib.com news comes possibly the dumbest school shooting drill I’ve heard of:
Aubrey Truman was swinging on the playground at Worland’s East Side Elementary School about 10 a.m. Thursday when she received the scare of her life.
A man in a hooded sweatshirt with a suspicious backpack appeared in the back of the playground. The hood was pulled over his head.
The school’s gym teacher, Kevin Heyer,Â approached the man, tapped him on the shoulder and asked his name.
Heyer said the man took off running.
At that point, Heyer, who will be retiring from the district this year at 61, began blowing his whistle. But he had been briefed earlier in the week, and he figured it was a drill.
“Run! Run!” he said he shouted to the kids, pointing to the back field, opposite of the supposed intruder.
But Aubrey recalled him screaming something else.
“He’s got a gun! He’s got a gun!” she thought he said.
Heyer denies saying “gun.”
Another student, Kaydence Munoz, age 9, told her mom that she didn’t hear the word “gun” come out the gym teacher’s mouth, either. She did hear it from other students, though.
Nonetheless, Aubrey and her fellow students, from first through fifth grade, ran to the back field of the playground, where they huddled and tried to make sense of what was happening.
Aubrey began to shake. She was terrified. “Am I going to die?” she thought. “Will I ever see my parent’s again?”
Read the rest here. Aubrey did see her folks again, and her mom — along with many other parents — was revolted by the pointless terror. As another angry mom pointed out: If this was really supposed to teach kids a lesson, why teach them to huddle en masse, in an open field? Isn’t that the easiest possible target?
The idea that students need a drill this realistic doesn’t make any sense. We don’t set the bathroom on fire before a fire drill. This is just adults acting out some sick hero fantasy — and making kids very miserable in the process. – L
Disgusting! How dare they terrorize those children in the name of some pointless “drill.” I hope whoever came up with this ridiculous idea has the book thrown at them – and while they’re at it, they can pay for the kids’ therapy they’re going to need. It reminds me of those idiotic parents who had their child “kidnapped” in order to teach them a lesson. In that case, the lesson was to never trust your parents again.
These stories makes me so sad…and angry.
BTW — I live in a state where the legislature is considering a law to ease up the gun laws in regard to who can take them into schools. I hate to see the day when these drills intersect with armed citizens.
My kids have “safety drills”. They turn out the lights, lock the door and practice staying very quiet and hidden. They think it’s a little silly, but it doesn’t worry them, and they’ll know how to act in an emergency. I also don’t think their school will catch on fire, but I appreciate the well-planned, panic-free drills for those too.
If you’ve spent anytime on a playground at recess, you can easily see how some kids heard “gun” instead of “run.” Heck, one time I told the kids it was too “freakin” loud, and wound up having to go to defend myself to the principal and teachers to say I didn’t swear at the kids (because some kids think that is a swear word, and went home and told their parents one of the lunch ladies swore.)
On a different note, our town implemented A.L.I.C.E. this year (google it). It replaces the old “lock down” system. I will give our town credit for not doing “live” drills with the K-6 set (meaning they don’t have people bursting into classrooms/terrorizing the kids etc), but I know the High School & Jr. High have both had “live” drills. Personally I think it’s all Kabuki theater. But I’m not the police chief or district superintendent, so not much I can do. And no, there is no way to fight it…
We walked through the drill in a low key manner at my former school. Then we had an announced practice. It did not scare the kids.
Then when an armed robber waving a gun and chased on foot by police ran through 3rd grade recess and we went into a real lock down the kids responded quickly. They were scared – because they knew it was real – but they knew what to do.
There was concern that he might have gotten in the building because he disappeared after turning a corner. After the school was cleared, officers stayed in our building on modified lock down (outside doors and gates locked but we could move around, while others looked for the guy in the apartments that surround the school. The Officers were giving out hugs and trading cards assuring the kids they would stay in the building till the bad guy was caught. When they found him in the apartments, they came around to the classrooms and told the kids the man was caught and the kids were safe so the officers were leaving.
My school unfortunately had 3 full lock downs and 3 modified lock downs in 14 years
The incident I describe above
Man beating his wife 2 yards from my classroom door.
A parent flipped out and attacked at teacher
The 3 modified were because of domestic violence.
In one case a staff member’s inlaw murdered 2 members of her family and intended to kill 3 children (their bus was late getting home and a neighbor heard the attack and called 911) and threatened staff member, who had taken in the kids. She wasn’t on campus but the police were worried he might show up.
The other 2 were student’s families were the “fathers” both beaten their wife and kids. After the wives both press charges, the “father” vowed to kill them all both in person and on social media.
In these cases all doors exterior and classroom were kept locked with one entrance open that funneled people through the front office where police officers were on duty. These monsters are now in jail.
When parents complain that their kids schools have suddenly adopted similar procedures, I tell them that there may be something like this going on.
Said it before, and will say it again, (and glad to see it mentioned here too,) when we have a fire drill, we do not set a fire, or even set off smoke bombs. Kids, and adults, will learn the drill better if we do it in a calm and reasoned way….not one that scares them into peeing their pants. (I am including the adults in the peeing of pants….) I hope that my school district never decides to adopt one of these types of things.
For ONCE it seems like the Litigious Society ought to be the solution to a problem, rather than part of it.
How hard could it be to to sue this school district back to the stone age for this?
1. Isn’t it a bit absurd that seeing a man in a hoodie is in itself treated as a crime and emergency? Also, what’s a “suspicious looking backpack”? It just sounds like a homeless guy minding his own business on a chilly day to me. Maybe this is from being Canadian, but the idea that stepping onto school property constitutes a crime in and of itself is odd to me. My elementary school yard was only partially fenced and people did walk through it sometimes. (Sometimes even with hoodies and backpacks!)
2. Seriously, this happened in Wyoming? I though maybe they had more sense out there in the boonies.
I understand your concerns Kimberly, but on the other hand, what did schools do 20-30 years ago if/when these situations happened, and they hadn’t yet determined that prison terms and prison actions were the best way to keep kids safe?
This comment in the article from a parent pretty much sums it up: “They just think they can do whatever they want with our kids.” The schools think, and the courts have backed them up, that we give up our parental rights when our kids walk through their doors. They will do whatever they please, and don’t give a hoot what the parents think about it.
I’m in favor of drills. Kids need to practice what they’ve been taught. But even in a real situation, children will handle things better if they THINK it’s a drill (if the situation allows that to be an option). Scaring the pants off kids on purpose is a sure-fire way to create unnecessary chaos.
@Mom in MA: “And no, there is no way to fight itâ€¦”
Why? Are you not a citizen of the town? Is your town a dictatorship? You may not be able to change things all by yourself, and you may not even be successful in changing things, but surely you can write letters, speak at public meetings, organize like-minded fellows, and vote against representatives who institute such policies (or who appoint or hire those who institute them).
When I was in high school we were just starting to implement A.L.I.C.E. training, which I thought was good because it meant we would be actively responding to threats instead of waiting and hiding like sitting ducks. The essence of A.L.I.C.E. is that the people far from the intruder escape the building, and anyone in the intruder’s vicinity responds aggressively if they enter their space.
However, our principal wanted us all to meet in a pre-arranged location (the football field) as soon as we escaped the building. For some reason they seemed to be operating on the assumption that any potential shooters would be random people off the street walking into the building rather than students themselves. Any student would know that we were meeting in the field, and sometimes shooters don’t act alone– so there was no chance that I would have headed to that field if I escaped a shooter. What if they had their buddy waiting to take out all the kids waiting on the football field? Or what if they simply followed everyone to the field? If anything ever happened, I was going the opposite direction as fast as I could, because that was the safest option. The school wanted us on the field so they could keep track of which kids were safe and which weren’t, but I didn’t think that was even remotely worth the risk.
What, exactly, is a “suspicious” backpack? Were there rifle barrels sticking out of it?
I was a little kid during the Cold War. We had drills in which we crouched under our desks to prepare us in the event of nuclear war. None of my young classmates were particularly bothered by the prospect of impending annihilation. We climbed under our desks, sang a little ditty about the importance of ducking and covering, and got right back to learning the multiplication tables.
We would have been excited and pleased by the presence of a man with a backpack and a possible gun. It would have broken the monotony. Are today’s kids really so wimpy that an incident like this threatens to traumatize them for life?
Why Wyoming needs to pass the law so that legal gun owners (it is Constitutional Carry with some caveats) can go into the “gun free zones”. The 2nd Amendment shouldn’t be compromised in any public building.
One of the few places in Wyoming where you can go in to do a massacre but are all but guaranteed not to be shot at by citizens is a School. They have to dial 911 and wait for the police.
What should have happened is some number of teachers with their CCWs should have come out and held the guy for police.
This is another indoctrination example – Kids, don’t protect yourselves, don’t rely on people around you, leave it for the government.
As Dylan once sang “Look out kid, they keep it all hid – twenty years of schoolin’….”
In Worryland it’s fright by hoodie.
Where’s a pink floyd when you really need one? “Hey! Teacher!”
But seriously. Real life imitating movies. Bad movies. Death by cash register.
New JRK-12 elective: stand-up comedy. The art of sarcasm.
(This used to be not actually far from the truth.)
Laughter is a lovely weapon.
What saddens me is the crazy that makes kids crazy. Because they sure don’t start out that way.
A school was never designed to be a Fort Knox. By definition, it’s a public building.
By definition, adults in charge uphold community standards. And know how to teach them.
So what do the kids end up learning?
I wonder, had time travel existed when I was a kid – and somehow I could zip forward from 1965 to 2015……
I think I woulda figured that the world had gone nuts. (There’s a movie in that.)
Come to think of it, there was a movie in that. Roll over Marty McFly……and give Mad Maxine the news.
The message here is that it’s perfectly okay to terrorize kids. By policy and stupidity.
(three stooges fighting in the principal’s office)
When I raised kids the only cure for this was giggle fits. After which everything was safe and sound.
After which adulthood arrived on schedule.
A critical thought is a lovely thing.
Making kids scared at school could easily result in kids who have access to guns bringing them to school to protect themselves.
As long as there is one “expert” out there saying this is keeping kids safe it will keep happening.
What needs to be done is what was said already here in the comments, start suing. Once the threat of law suits starts creeping in, the CYA attitude will shift.
@Anna: Europe is pretty heterogeneous, but here it’s an odd concept too: most public schools here also host a public library, which means strangers come and go freely. The high school I went to actually hosts a public natural history museum and through the school’s grounds there is one of the entrances to a public park.
Following this lead should I have a “fake” intruder break into our home while the children are in bed or eating dinner? Why is it a good idea to simulate this? And huddle together in a corner – how is that smart?
I get fire drills or tornado drills, it’s good to know to “stop, drop and roll” and where to go when an emergency occurs but we don’t pour smoke into buildings. Plus there is no real threat going on during the drill. Where here, in this instance, they simulated a threat. So as far as the children are concerned, it was terrifying.
Unbelievable that adults, particularly those supposedly trained to supervise and teach children, can be so stupid and irresponsible.
“most public schools here also host a public library”
In the city where I work (in Pennsylvania) the public library, although a separate building, is right next to the high school and doubles as the high school library. When I go there at lunch time there are usually some high school kids around.
One corner on the second floor is also used by younger homeschoolers and their parents on a regular basis.
Let adults play elsewhere! The school grounds are not a suitable place for such games! And, frankly, however sad and terrifying all the shootings at schools are, what is the ratio? is this “drill” really worth it?
@tz, this is probably no place to discuss gun laws (though I mentioned them myself), but expecting teachers to behave as police officers in apprehending but not firing at a suspected intruder seems like a lot to expect.
I suppose having armed staff members would make it a real risk to have unannounced drills huh? Or they better hope everyone gets the memo or doesn’t have a sub that day.
The idea of having these drills is ridiculous as has been pointed out already. No other prep drills (tornado, fire) calls for fake symptoms of such a thing.
Who needs war, earthquakes, and nuclear bomb threats when we have school drills?
@tz – in a civilised society, one of the functions of a government is to protect its citizens. That’s why countries have armies etc. I really don’t understand the antipathy some Americans have toward governments. Do you want to live in an anarchic state?
On the drill – just dumb. Though I love the way the teacher gets to tap Mr Suspicious on the back without consequence….sort of negates the reality of the whole thing.
This reminds me of an incident at my husband’s high school, a few years after he graduated. The administration decided the kids weren’t taking fire drills seriously enough, so they decided to do a surprise drill with simulated smoke. Turns out, the canisters were filled not with smoke, but with tear gas. They ended up inadvertently tear gassing about 1/2 of the student body before they figured out something wasn’t right. I think the principal was transferred to a new position not too long after that.
@Tiny Tyrant’s Mom, aren’t those things usually labeled? I was in the Navy for six years and we had GQ, or General Quarters, drills all the time.The majority of the time they would just sound the alarm and we had to get to our GQ post as quickly as possible (we did this in boot camp too, but our GQ post was beside our bed), then we would usually just get on comms and wait. Only once did we do anything really big and that was for a major inspection. The emergency lights were on, they had smoke machines in some areas, people were “injured” and ladderwells taken out. It was awesome and fun but only because we had those simple, calm, just get where you need to be as quickly as possible kind of drills beforehand.
The US President has access to the best of everything. This includes doctors. Only the best are allowed to administer medical care to the president. These doctors come from the finest universities the world has to offer.
One day, the president came down with a sore throat. This was very irritating and was uncomfortable to speak. His doctor was called, his wrist was cut, and the bad blood was drained out. The year was 1799. The president was George Washington. Although medical science proved that draining bad blood was beneficial, Washington’s symptoms didn’t improve. After two days, three physicians and four processes of draining out the bad blood, Washington knew that his death was inevitable.
The belief that we can cure people by draining away bad blood is similar to the belief that we can make children safer by scaring them into safety.
The notion of “they need to practice during the real thing!” is idiotic, at least in the first drills. Kids and teachers have no idea what to do in a panic and it’s a terrible time to teach people anything. Teach and practice in a calm setting where people can digest the information. I’m not opposed in theory to some more intense drills once everyone knows what to do in a calm situation, but tossing people into the fire for teaching is a bad idea.
Lock down drills do more than allow children to practice survival tactics. They ‘teach’ children that CSI and Fox News is accurate and the world is a very dangerous place.
Many children claim that they heard, â€œHe’s got a gun!â€ I believe Kevin Heyer’s story were he denies saying this. He didn’t have to and it wouldn’t be surprising that the children ‘heard’ the word gun.
Believing is seeing. (or hearing)
My daughter got in trouble once for talking about her friend’s dog, named “Mitch”. The other kids insisted that she said “b*tch” instead, and she got detention.
Aside from the fact that the dog in question was a male, using the “b word” for a dog is actually appropriate. :-/
During the Cold War schools in the NYC area had Air Raid drills, but student knew they were drills. No adult was so insensitive as to pretend a real attack was imminent.
How many times did YOU read in the paper/hear on the news about a school being attacked by the Russians during the cold war? I’m going to go out on a limb and say none. School shootings are real, you can Google it if you live under a rock and haven’t heard of them before. My children’s school district was one of three in RI who received not one but two letters threatening such violence at the begining of the school year. Our school district did an amazing job keeping parents informed of what was happening on a daily and sometimes hourly basis. Absences that week were all recorded as excused. Classrooms were in lockdown for weeks, all outdoor recesses and after school activities (including sports) were cancelled and armed police were present on every school campus. Teachers explained to the students what was happening ON THEIR LEVEL. My kindergartener and third grader don’t know that their very lives were threatened. They weren’t scared of bad guys or afraid to go to school, they felt safe, protected and cared for. Not one parent accused the school district, the teachers or staff of being “wimpy”. Instead, we were comforted in knowing that our school and town officials put our kids well being, physical and psychological, first.
I think teachers with guns is a bad idea.
They could start shooting at every perceived threat and panic.
“Oh my gods, the bells are ringing and kids are screaming. We must be under attack. I should have taken my pills today. Oh my gosh the murderer is coming to our door. I have to shoot….better pull the trigger until it stops. Oops it was just the principal.”
Teachers with guns could go on a murder spree too, so the office and janitorial staff need guns to stop them if need be. But then the principal needs a gun too if they try and go around shooting. But who is going to stop the principal?
“I think teachers with guns is a bad idea.
They could start shooting at every perceived threat and panic.”
So could police.
@RI Mama There’s a glaring problem with your argument: we didn’t know at the time whether we were going to be nuked or not.
Hindsight is 20/20.
A nuclear war seemed pretty darn likely in the early 1960s, to the point that many of my neighbors were building bomb shelters. If you don’t live under a rock, you might Google Bay of Pigs and read all about that fascinating time in our nation’s history.
@BL “â€œI think teachers with guns is a bad idea.
They could start shooting at every perceived threat and panic.â€
So could police.”
Um, no, police are trained not to panic and not to randomly shoot children and school teachers.
The problem with depending ONLY on the police and government is that they’re often not there. Also, there is the fact that they’ll try to ‘secure’ the scene before moving in and you’ll be dead before they act. One more thing, response times vary wildly. Excepting those that have on campus armed police present, the perps could have minutes to kill you before the police show up.
I’m not against armed teachers/staff. I believe however that it shouldn’t be Joe blow teacher with a gun. For armed teachers, they must go through some sort of training in how to respond to these situations. (I’m not going to argue the 2nd amendment, which I’m in favor of, but I don’t want a backyard trained shooter protecting my kids.)
@L Police are trained not to panic and riddle a car containing an unarmed man and woman with bullet holes like they were Bonnie and Clyde just because their car backfired outside the police station. Oh, wait! That happened!
@Jill “Police are trained not to panic and riddle a car containing an unarmed man and woman with bullet holes like they were Bonnie and Clyde just because their car backfired outside the police station. Oh, wait! That happened!”
It did? My friend google doesn’t seem to know about it. Provide a link to a verifiable and reliable source. To me, this sounds more like the “everyone’s a child molester” crap.
“It did? My friend google doesnâ€™t seem to know about it. Provide a link to a verifiable and reliable source. To me, this sounds more like the â€œeveryoneâ€™s a child molesterâ€ crap.”
Depending on how specific a ‘police shoot wrong person’ story you want, you can also search for “police shoot wrong suspect” for a random assortment or try this “Police Officers Who Shot at Two Innocent Women 103 Times Won’t Be Fired”. The second one has two women (not one woman and one man) being shot.
From the “Police Officers Who” article:
SKL: “Who needs war, earthquakes, and nuclear bomb threats when we have school drills?”
You forgot terrorism…
These drills most certainly can cause emotional stress and harm in kids today. You cannot compare a nuke attack that never happened to what is going on these days.
Kids these days have been bombarded by a fear based media, showing and re-showing school shootings, and parents telling their kids they are in danger of this happening to them.
So you are comparing an act that never happened that you never saw, to acts that kids are constantly seeing in the media because of the media’s need for fear driven ratings.
As for people not being affected by your duck and cover drills……….it happened. We used to live near a nuclear plant, could see it from the condo window. We had relatives that came for a visit that wouldn’t stay with us because of our proximity to a nuclear plant that was a “real” target for a nuclear attack. So yes there is residual problems to drilling kids about DEATH.
You know … if the children had only been armed, they could have shot the fleeing man and probably the gym teacher and a few other students.
Where’s concealed carry in schools when you need it.
I promise you, that one day one of these realistic drills is going to backfire and someone will be killed or seriously injured.
There are plenty of people out there, myself included, that will react to what they see as a threat.
Think about it. I am driving by a school and there is a hooded/masked individual lurking in the tree line, possibly with a gun or lookalike. Now I could call 911 and report it, and wait for the cops to show up, all the time hoping this individual doesn’t make his or her move. Or given instinct, react by trying to eliminate the threat. Lots of ways to do it, from tackling, to tirebar, to driving over the individual with my truck.
Now when this volunteer is in the hospital or morgue, who is going to be at fault?
I think this is the key to understanding the difference with Kimberley’s school’s situation: “we went into a real lock down the kids responded quickly. They were scared â€“ because they knew it was real â€“ but they knew what to do.”
Sounds like whatever drills they did, rather than terrifying the kids, were actually appropriate to the situation (since they had to be actually put into action so much). But more importantly, rather than assuming that kids are dumb and need to be terrified into learning a “lesson” about how supposedly dangerous the world is, they let them know what was happening and when it was/wasn’t a drill.
“[T]he kids responded quickly… they knew it was real – but they knew what to do.”
Oh, also, there’s no need for lockdown drills to say “this is for a school shooter”. When I was in school (in Australia where guns are rare), they just said, “We have two types of emergency responses, corresponding to two types of alarms: one for fires when you need to evacuate the building, one for any kind of emergency where you need to stay in your classrooms.” The example given for the second kind, at one of my primary schools, was a time when a large feral dog showed up in the playground.
The thing about those duck and cover drills: ducking and covering under school desks wouldn’t have protected anyone at all.
Those drills where there to give people a feeling of safety against something that might happen, that couldn’t really be protected against. And to ensure that the students are all calmly under their desks, not running around panicking, should an attack occur. Not at all to ensure the safety of students should an attack occur.
Doing a drill like THIS, forcing the kids into a state of panic and ruining around, defeats the purpose of drills completely. It doesn’t help them to react calmly should an actual attack occur, and it doesn’t make them safer if an attack occurs. (Because if a guy comes into the schoolyard with a gun, running into the field won’t help much.)
Going off this subject… I’m all for making safety drills for these types of situations, (though this is completely insane. What genius thought of it?) but the ones I read about, I dunno, they don’t always seem like they’d be that effective. Considering how much paranoia there is about school shootings, I’m a little surprised at how a lot of these drills don’t seem very well thought-out. Have all the kids run to the middle of a field? Sounds like that would make them easy targets. But I don’t have any suggestions myself.
These poor kids are gonna be terrified for a while. Hope it doesn’t cause ’em to have long-term paranoia.
Dhewco: Yeah, the police don’t really seem to have a very good protocol for school shooting situations. I watched a documentary on Columbine a while back, and you know, it took ’em so long to react that I bet some people would’ve been saved. Of course, it was a pretty crazy situation, people didn’t know how to deal with it. Now that school shootings are big in the news, you’d think there’d be some established protocol. (then again, it’s not like shootings are super duper common. They still make big news because they’re still a shock) Anyway, I agree that we also shouldn’t rely on just random teachers with guns. Even police, trained professionals, screw up a lot. People promoting guns everywhere act like it would be super easy for any good guy with a gun to stop the bad guy, but things are never that simple. (I also think guns permitted would cause more harm than good, but, eh, who knows?)
And this is why I homeschool. When you allow idiots to govern your children during the day, this sort of mayhem happens. Just think about the horrors that occur, which you do not know about. Now, that is something to think about!