Friday, March 25, 2011

Iowa School Shooting Drill Criticized By Extremists

"Careful, boys. There're Children in There!" (U.S. Navy)
The San Francisco Chronicle reported yesterday that Treynor High School, in Iowa, will be having a “shooter on campus” drill. The Iowa Minutemen, an anti-illegal immigration group, is criticizing the drill because the fake scenario involves a teen who his vents his anger over illegal immigration by using violence. The state director of the Iowa Minutemen, Robert Ussery, said the drill was is in poor taste and had a political agenda. (As if his group isn't/doesnt?)

The best approach to the problem of angry students, regardless of the cause of their anger, is for the adults in the school to recognize when their students are having emotional trouble and to intervene. In the Columbine case (as in most instances of school violence) there were numerous warning signs that were either ignored or not taken seriously the adults in their lives.

School shootings and Columbine-like violence are terrifying, but they are also extremely rare. Many argue that it is better to be prepared, even for an unlikely event. However, it is a much more efficient use of resources and time to engage in general disaster preparedness. Many of the same things are involved in preparing for earthquakes, chemical spills, and meteorological disasters, as for school intruders and violent rampages. Focused drills and preparedness should be limited to only the most likely events, such as earthquakes in California, or tornadoes in the Midwest. 

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