January 30, 2013
Students will be in classrooms at the Cary-Grove High School when police fire blanks in the school hallway “in an effort to provide our teachers and students some familiarity with the sound of gunfire,” according to principal Jay Sargeant, CBS Chicago reported on Tuesday.
“From the school’s request, they want to let the students know what the sound of gunshot might be, should that occur in their school,” Cary Police Chief Steven Casstevens added.
According to the school, parents were informed of the drill via email. Parent Kassy Pinter told CBS Chicago she did not receive the email.
Many parents believe the “code red” drill is inappropriate and will frighten children. “If you need to run a drill, you run a drill,” parent Sharon Miller told a local radio station. “They run fire drills all the time, but they don’t run up and down the hallway with a flamethrower,” she said in response to the plan by police to fire blanks in the school hallway.
“I think it’s a little over the top, like it’s too much. I think we understand what could happen. I just think that it’s unnecessary,” student Bobbi Breuer told NBC.
Following the massacre at the Sandy Hook school in Newtown, Connecticut, numerous schools around the country have conducted drills. Police and schools, however, conducted active shooter drills well before Sandy Hook. The video below was posted in 2008:
School spokesman Jeff Puma told CBS that Cary police recommended “that we do this in order to create the knowledge necessary to keep our students safe in an active crisis situation.”
Lenore Skenazy, writing for Parentdish in 2011, argued against active shooter drills with simulated gunfire. She said “the real problem is that these drills are absolutely corrosive. Schools do not use fog machines to make fire drills more terrifying. Tornado drills do not involve hurtling debris through the windows.”
Skenazy added that “the time could be far better spent drilling kids on street-crossing safety, or pool safety — even cooking safety. Teach them to dodge the dangers they are far more likely to encounter.”
“Code red” shooter drills – and military exercises conducted in populated urban areas like Miami and Houston – are designed to acclimate citizens to the in-your-face presence of heavily armed combat cops and military personnel. Police know they can do virtually nothing in a school shooting situation.
On Tuesday we reported on Department of Homeland Security boss Janet Napolitano’s remarks before a joint session of the Major Cities Chiefs Association and the Major County Sheriffs’ Association winter meetings on Monday.
“The DHS is eager to exploit ‘gun violence’ after the Sandy Hook massacre and exploit it to further integrate itself with state and local ‘partners’ – in other words, further trample Posse Comitatus and the principle of separation between local law enforcement and the federal government,” we wrote.
“It is at best a dubious claim that the DHS in collusion with local law enforcement might ‘prevent future mass casualty shootings,’” a claim the DHS dispels in its “Active Shooter: How to Respond” handbook released following Sandy Hook.
The booklet discourages potential victims from actively defending themselves against so-called active shooters and instructs them to engage in passive behavior.