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Monday, May 14, 2007

This is Not a Drill

In case you haven't heard there was another incident involving a school shooting. Thankfully, no one was injured physically, though the possibility for psychological damage is still up in the air. The "gunman" was a teacher at the school, and the emergency was completely staged. Evidently, some teachers got together and decided to "punk" the kids into thinking their young lives were about to end. The educators are accused of using mad judgement in their attempt to create a "learning experience" for the Tennessee sixth graders. The whole thing has left me wondering exactly what the terrified students were supposed to be learning.

School shootings have become an unfortunate part of our culture. Every time I turn around, another frustrated student has decided to end his life, but not before taking a few fellow classmates along for the ride. Certainly anything that educators can do to prevent these tragedies should be done. I think that shooting drills would be a good idea. They would be at least as effective as the old air-raid drills, and might save a few lives. What these teachers did was entirely different and completely inexcusable. The only thing these students learned was the feeling of terror and helplessness. This lesson was roughly the equivalent of sending the school guidance counselor to tell a young student that their mother has just died in a fiery car crash just to teach them about the grieving process.

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