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Schools simulating a culture of fear

Photo by Sterling Zoe Rubottom

Since April 20, 1999, there have been recurring events of school shootings all around America. The situation has only spiraled downhill with many recent cases. This has pushed 66% of public schools to establish a shooting-simulation system, according to the Government Accountability Office. With the recent events of shooting being the present—and possibly the future—of America, the shooting simulation’s effect on children is debated.

Initially, I took sides with schools because I felt it was a good attempt to protect the children and prepare them for possible catastrophe. Upon further research, I noticed how much harm is being done on the children, making them always on the lookout for those whose mission it is to end their lives.

There are many simulations that have been conducted throughout American history. In 1951, during the Cold War, “schools began implementing the now infamous ‘duck-and-cover’ drills, during which teachers would scream ‘drop!’ randomly during the school day and students would dive underneath their desks, simulating what to do in case of an airstrike,” reported The Week.

The Cold War simulation would never have worked. The likelihood of being crushed by the weight of the building was high, and numerous lives would not make it. New York officials were aware of how much of a failure the drill was, causing them to spend over $159,000 on dog tags to identify their students.

Some worry that shooting simulations will make it easier for the shooter to target victims, since the pattern of most shooters has been fellow classmates.  These shooters are not only harming others and taking lives, they also instill fear in the hearts of every American child. 

In 2018, a Florida high school conducted an unannounced drill that caused some students to suffer asthma attacks and vomit from fear, while others texted their parents goodbye, according to the New York Times.

 A shooting simulation should not be conducted, but instead a drill should take its place. In a fire simulation, places would be set on fire or smoked out, but a fire drill creates an avenue where the precautionary steps are practiced by the members of the school. Steps should be provided; it is unnecessary to go around with a fake shooter causing a panic attack.

ORU security administered a whole process for school shooting. There is an emergency alert system that alerts if there is an active shooter via a messaging chain, along with alerting of dangerous weather conditions. All the teachers have been trained, and all the locks on the doors have been changed from outside the classroom to inside. There is a new lecture in the GEN 150 curriculum, a required freshman course, that gives insight on what an individual should do during a shooting.