We’ve all gotten used to the stories of school drug sweeps and “scared straight” tactics getting more and more ridiculous. Student made to stand against walls, getting sniffed by drug dogs, having weapons pointed at them. But this is a new level of insanity.
A school shooting drill planned for tomorrow in the far northwestern suburbs has many parents upset.
According to a letter from Cary-Grove High School principal Jay Sargeant, there will be a code red drill at the school on Wednesday.
It will include somebody shooting blanks from a gun in the hallway “in an effort to provide our teachers and students some familiarity with the sound of gunfire.”
CBS 2’s Derrick Blakley reports, during the drill, teachers will keep students in their rooms, lock their doors, and draw their curtains. Police will sweep the building, while someone will fire two shots – blanks – from a starter pistol.
I just love this quote from one of the parents:
“If you need to run a drill, you run a drill,” [Sharon Miller] told WBBM Newsradio’s Bernie Tafoya. “They run fire drills all the time, but they don’t run up and down the hallway with a flamethrower.”
You can read further for more disheartening information, including parents dragging out the “better safe than sorry” line and the revelation that this idea came from the local cops. They don’t quite say that live fire exercises will be next, but I’m pretty sure that’s coming.
Of course, if someone were talking about these kids hearing blanks fired in, say, a violent movie … or seeing pixels exploded in a violent video game, they would be shrieking the heavens down about how awful this was. And if you suggested, heaven forfend, that schools have shooting clubs like my dad’s high school did, they would faint.
Look, I don’t think this will “traumatize” the kids or anything. But it’s just stupid. And it’s another an example of how hysterical people have gotten about school shootings, an event which happens at about one in 7,000 schools every year and about one in a million schools when it comes to mass shootings. And it’s also an example of how putting cops in schools is having negative consequences:
More than a third of American sheriffs’ departments and nearly half of all police departments have officers assigned to local schools, according to Department of Justice statistics from early last decade. Students today are arrested in school for offenses that include talking back to a police officer, doodling on a desk with an erasable marker, farting, and being an eight-year old throwing a temper tantrum. In other words: criminalizing childhood misbehavior.
School police help enforce a regime that deals out suspensions for transgressions ranging from signing a gospel song with friends at lunch, making out with a love interest, or blowing spit balls. Schools now also require drug tests for an ever-expanding set of extracurricular activities that now includes middle-school sports and even chess club, Future Farmers of America, and band (though a California judge in 2009 ruled drug testing for the latter set unconstitutional under state law).
Our schools are becoming far too comfortable with this sort of thing. And what’s more, our students are becoming far too used to an environment that encourages them to be hysterical, compliant and obedient to authority: exactly the kind of generation big government has long craved.