DHS is conducting unannounced school shooting drills, and some students are left terrified from the experience. The Department of Homeland Security conducted a school shooter lockdown at the Glen Ridge High School in New Jersey last week. Only school superintendent Dr. John Mucciolo and Polic Chief Sheila Byron-Lagattutta knew about the active shooter drill.
The school shooting drill involved the Department of Homeland Security and the New Jersey Department of Education’s Safety and Security Task Forces. After the unannounced school shooter drill, the team noted their satisfaction with Glen Ridge High School Principal Dirk Phillips and his quick activation of the district’s lockdown procedure – after being told to do so by DHS agents and local police officers also on hand to assist.
Glen Ridge Superintendent Dr. Mucciolo said, “The NJ DOE team told us that out of all the schools they have visited, GRHS was one of the best.” The school official also stated that such unannounced DHS school shooting drills are becoming commonplace in the region.
During an unannounced school shooting drill at Pine Eagle Charter School in Oregon last May, both staff and students were understandably shocked when two masked men ran into a faculty meeting room and opened fire. The “fire” was from blank bullets and the “shooters” were fellow teachers. Students were not on campus due to an educator in-service day. The unannounced active shooter scenario was reportedly designed to test the reaction of the staffers. Principal Cammie DeCastro stated after the drill that “not many” on her staff would have survived the school shooting.
Elementary school teacher Morgan Gover said, “I’ll tell you, the whole situation was horrible. I got a couple (blank bullets) in the front and a couple in the back.” Fortunately, no teachers were hurt while attempting to flee, and no one suffered a heart attack from the panic they felt when masked men with guns ran into the school meeting room. The staff has previously undergone training by the sheriff’s department related to proper responses during an active school shooting.
Critics of the unannounced school shootings drill are quick to point out that such tragedies are rare and that the students are also left afraid and in a panic. Arguments have also been made that teaching teachers and students to shelter in place instead of immediately evacuating during a school shooting is not good advice and could lead to more fatalities and casualties.
The deadliest shootings in United States history, those which included a minimum of 12 fatalities, half of them happened from 1949 to 1999. The other half happened between 2007 and 2013. Arming teachers who have undergone concealed carry gun training remains a hotly debated issue, but more districts across the country are either allowing or considering such policies.
How do you feel about unannounced school shooting drills?
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