A Florida middle school is under attack for allowing an active shooter drill where armed police officers stormed the school and went room to room, terrifying students and likely scarring some of them for life.
Only a few people inside Jewett Middle Academy in Winter Haven, FL were aware of the time that the active shooter drill would take place. Actually, only a few people were aware it would happen at all. So, the majority of teachers and faculty, and every child, were unaware of what was happening when armed police officers stormed the classrooms with their guns drawn.
“I thought he was going to shoot me,” one child texted to a parent.
Public School officials sent out an email to parents letting them know about the drill after it had taken place. Long story short, parents were less than thrilled about the unannounced drill.
“Unfortunately, no one gets an advanced notice of real life emergencies,” Polk County Public Schools spokesman Jason Gearey said in an e-mailed statement to The Washington Post. “We don’t want students to be scared, but we need them to be safe.”
While police insist that the firearms were pointed at the ground, one officer had his duty firearm drawn, which was loaded as required. The other officer was carrying an unloaded AR-15.
It’s a requirement to use a loaded firearm during a drill where children are directly involved? That seems highly unnecessary. They made a point to say that officers will not be using firearms during future drills, probably from the backlash they’ve been dealing with.
The police department was gathering feedback on the event and said that it’s been a 50/50 positive/negative response. I would personally love to see the comment cards to back up that claim.
It’s one thing to be prepared, it’s another to scare the **** out of kids and faculty. How many parents do you know that fake-kidnap their children to teach them how to act if they’re ever kidnapped? None? They’re more likely to discuss this with their child instead of acting it out, because common sense.
For many of the kids involved in this drill, it’s probably the first time they’ve ever seen a firearm in person. What a great way to introduce them to firearms! Let’s point them around the room after storming in unannounced, in an effort to make sure that you’re prepared in case a real school shooting happens.
The media does a great job at turning up the scare factor of school shootings, I see no reason to storm a school unannounced. Talking to students and holding drills, while teaching them along the way, seems like a much better use of time and energy.
I would love to hear your opinions on this event. Do you agree with my opinions?