Sunday, May 13, 2007

A Poor Take On The Fire Drill

In a completely and utterly disgusting move by a group of Tennessee teachers (which I'd like to think could only happen in the Black Hills, but unfortunately believe this may become a trend), 69 terrified sixth graders were subjects of a staged gunman attack during a week-long educational class trip to a national park. According to the MSNBC article, teachers and the school's assistant principal decided to fake an attack after discussing amongst staff how they would react in a real situation. The students were not warned that there would be a "drill" of this nature, and believed whole heartedly that the teacher disguised in a hooded-sweatshirt with a fake gun was on a rampage out to kill them.

Understandably, parents of the children exposed to the simulated assault are outraged. The responsible administration and teachers offered absolutely no justification for the "drill," nor did they indicate that the students were supposed to take any particular lesson or message from the simulation (20 of whom reportedly sobbed in the dark, begging for their lives whilst hiding under tables and chairs during the attack).

I am sickened to think that our nation has reached such a boiling point in the hysteria of gun-culture that shooting-rampage drills are even a remote possibility on the horizon. We should not be preparing school children for gun attacks รก la fire & earthquake drills!!! Fires and earthquakes are natural disasters which occur unpredictably by the forces of nature, and thus we should reasonably prepare students to respond appropriately to such phenomena. SHOOTING ATTACKS, on the other hand, are the very specific actions of psychotic individuals armed with GUNS, which are often legally-obtained by violence perpetrators and which are MOST CERTAINLY not natural extensions of the human body creating natural disastrous phenomena. On the contrary, guns are decisively unnatural tools of violence - available only in very recent human history - and integrated
haphazardly into a nation where guns morphed from tools for the protection of cattle on homesteads to concealed semiautomatic weapons for use in gang, school, and domestic violence in less than a century. It seems that sanctioning shooting attack drills in schools signals our society's acceptance of, or acquiescence to, its own pitiful ability to control firearms possession.

I've said it once and I'll say it again: Guns do not belong in American society. Get rid of the god damn Second Amendment.


Ellen said...

I agree with you, Kelly. This was a mistake on the part of the administration.

However, I don't necessarily agree that we shouldn't be addressing this potential threat to our schools. It's one thing to stage a drill for such an emergency(I'm all for preparedness and practice). However, the students and/or their parents should have been advised ahead of time that a drill of this nature would be happening. In comparison, whenever we had a fire/tornado (yes, I'm a Midwesterner) drill, we were always notified at the start of the school day. (Ie: "Do not be alarmed. This is a drill.")

Again, in comparison, we were never literally and/or personally threatened to this degree. I do remember a few instances after the Columbine tragedy when we conducted "lock down" drills. However, instead of sending an armed, costumed intruder around the campus, we "pretended," as most drills require, that there was a threat.

I can see where the administration was coming from in their efforts. However, this attempt at a safety measure was poorly planned and executed.

Ren said...

I hate the argument that guns are no worse than any other weapon, and they don't make violence worse, blah blah. Guns let you kill people quickly and from an emotional and physical distance. Not so with anything where you have to be close enough to see the whites of someone's eyes.