In addition to expected run-of-the-mill fire drills, more schools nationwide have implemented active-shooter drills.
According to the Associated Press, two-thirds of schools in the U.S. now practice these drills in an effort to prepare and educate teachers and students on how to react if an armed shooter makes his way onto school grounds.
To make the simulation as realistic as possible, students participate by volunteering as dead bodies covered in fake blood while police officers pretend to be the shooters and shout things like, “I’m going to kill everybody! Nobody’s getting out of here!” according to Mic.
The officers actually carry real guns and fire fake rounds, making the event that much more graphic and terrifying — nothing like the “stop, drop, and roll” instructions to which American youth are accustomed.
The Government Accountability Office investigators highlighted a point of criticism made by one district that noticed, “The difficulty of striking a balance between providing knowledge and inciting fear, particularly at schools with younger children.”
While the threat of an active-shooter situation at schools has grown significantly over the years, these intense drills may be fueling fear in students more than educating them.
A pre-k teacher named Launa Hall penned an essay for the Washington Post back in 2014 in which she said, "Instead of controlling guns and inconveniencing those who would use them, we are rounding up and silencing a generation of schoolchildren, and terrifying those who care for them."
In addition to the fear associated with the practice, in several cases students and faculty are told to go into lockdown mode without being forewarned that it is just a drill — which Hall experienced firsthand, as described in her Washington Post essay.
Imagine the shock and chaos that ensues in the moments before everyone realizes it’s only a drill.
It’s truly disheartening that mass-shootings have become so prevalent in our society that we have to go to such great lengths to prepare our kids for the worst.
Banner Photo Credit: Twitter @dhsscitech