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Should We Have ‘Shooter Drills’ in Our Schools?

You don’t think anything of it when your kids come home from school and tells you they had a fire drill at school.  You don’t think twice anymore about an “emergency go-home” drill, or even a “lock-down” drill.  But as of late, schools around the country have been conducting active “shooter” drills.

Some of these drills even contain an actor portraying a real shooter, SWAT teams, fake blood and child actors portraying victims.

Some of these drills don’t require students to be present, but other schools are choosing to perform the drill with teachers and students present and participating.

I’m torn as to whether or not this type of drill is necessary at all, or even if it is, is it really a good idea?

Children now are growing up in the shadow of dozens of mass school shootings.  It’s sad, but it is an actuality.

Should we prepare them for it?  I mean, they conducted bomb drills during the cold war, right?  And we do drills all the time for tornados, hurricanes, and fires.

And, shouldn’t teachers, staff, faculty, and local police officers know exactly what to prepare for, should the inevitable happen?

Isn’t this just good planning?

But, as I put my “mommy” hat on, I question.  Does this type of drill just terrify our children, and worse, make them lose hope that they live in a society where they can’t even go to school without fearing for their lives?

Does conducting one of these drills put the idea of firing on a school into our kids’ heads when they may have not ever even thought of if?

Shouldn’t we be spending more of our time and money trying to figure out why these shootings happen in the first place, and how to try and prevent them from continuing?

And, statistically speaking, what are the actual chances that a shooting will occur in any particular district?

This past weekend, members of the Cambridge-Greenwich Police Department, rescue squad, and fire department, were at the Cambridge Central School District for an active shooter drill.  

Staff and students of the school district were present and volunteered for the drill for the first time in the three years this type of drill was held.  The local drill was overseen by the NYS Department of Criminal Justice and Homeland Security. 

Do you think it’s a good idea to hold active shooter drills in schools?  Has your child or someone you know participated in a similar drill?  Let us know.

Photo by Carsten Koall/Getty Images

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