What would you think if local police showed up in your child’s classroom pretending to be criminal shooters – weapons loaded and drawn as if to do harm to students and teachers?
This was the case recently in a Winter Haven, Florida middle school. Police burst in to Jewett Middle Academy to see how well students would respond if an actual crazed gunman entered their school.
Needless to say, the students were horrified and traumatized by the unannounced shooter drill. Parents, teachers and students were scared and furious because no one knew the drill was going to take place except for the principal at Jewett.
Around 9:00 that Thursday morning, the principal announced that the school was going on lockdown. According to witnesses, students huddled in classrooms and heard noises in the hallways. Students say they thought that someone was going to come in and kill them. Can you imagine the horror they must have felt?
One seventh grade student says that two officers burst into her classroom with guns drawn, one of them carrying an AR-15 assault rifle. Another officer apparently had his service weapon drawn and it was loaded, as is required.
One student sent a text message to her mother saying she was scared she was going to die. The mother said she received texts from her other children who were also afraid they were going to be shot. This mother said she panicked because she thought something horrible was happening at her children’s school.
Winter Haven Police Chief, Charlie Bird, says, “It’s important when you do your drill, you do it without everyone knowing it’s a drill.” He added, “It really is to protect the children and at no point in time would we endanger any of the children.”
A spokesman for the Polk County Schools says that it’s standard operating procedure for these types of drills to take place without warning the parents, teachers or students.
In the wake of the horrific mass murders at Sandy Hook Elementary School, more states are carrying out active shooter drills. Tennessee, New Jersey and Missouri are among those states.
Unless it happens to you, you cannot possibly imagine the horror that the Sandy Hook community went through. So, in this case, does the end justify the means?