I can't say that I blame them, actually. Missouri legislators have mandated that teachers and students in that states public schools undergo “Active Shooter” drills, presumably to familiarize them with the concept of being shot. I suppose they call it the “Show Me State” for a reason. Teachers in St. Francois County, Missouri, have now complained because their duties now include being shot at with pellet guns during these drills. This despite being told that they would be required to wear goggles to protect their eyes. Pansies. It's not like the welts and bruises won't eventually heal.
To be fair, it seems the Missouri legislature was not alone, and in the wake of the Sandy Hook school massacre several states now require active shooter drills be performed in public schools. These often unannounced drills are designed to assist law enforcement in procedure development, and to make teachers and students familiar with the sounds of gunshots and in-pants urination. What a brilliant idea. I can think of no better way to keep that pesky teachers union in line while simultaneously terrorizing innocent children. A real twofer from the Marquis de Sade School of training, if you will.
Seriously, who thinks this is a good idea?
Can we not foresee (legitimate) stress claims arising from teachers who now must, sometimes without notice, deal with “active shooters” that may or may not be lethal? And doesn't this whole charade lead to a possible over familiarization in that people won't respond when they need to – believing a real assault is just a drill? You see, not all drills are announced, so teachers can't comfortably secure that safety gear they are required to wear. That is the case at least in Texas, where an unannounced drill last year in El Paso angered many parents dealing with traumatized children who thought the attack was real. It is moronic, knee jerk thinking that won't help anybody, but might be a boon for the undergarment industry.
As I have previously noted, I am but just a simple boy from Durango. My crazy ass solution to the “active shooter” scenario could best be summed up by this phrase: Active defenders. If you want teachers to be “familiar” with the sound of gunfire, take them to a gun range and teach them how to handle a weapon. And when they are done, certify them to carry if they wish to. Some people will think that is nuts - truly certifiable - but I maintain it is less crazy than creating “Gun Free Zones” that provide target rich environments for whackjobs who are not overly concerned with violating useless gun registration laws.
And it is certainly a better defense than teaching people how to hide in a closet and pray that “this one is a drill”.
Statistically I suppose that our children and teachers are now far more likely in some states to be traumatized by a law enforcement exercise than they would a real “active shooter”. Still, we live in a world where boundaries are blurring, and the mentally ill do not get help until it is too late. We do need to be prepared to defend our children from terrible assaults like the one at Sandy Hook. I just wish the people of Missouri and other states could show me a better way than the path they have chosen.
Robert Wilson is President & CEO of WorkersCompensation.com, and "From Bob's Cluttered Desk" comes his (often incoherent) thoughts, ramblings, observations and rants - often on workers' comp or employment issues, but occasionally not.
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