Students at Jewett Middle Academy in Winterhaven, Florida, were terrified last week when police and school officials performed an unannounced “live action drill.”
The drill started with the school going into lock-down, with no explanation to students and teachers. Then police burst in, weapons drawn, traumatizing a slew of children in the process:
“We actually thought that someone was going to come in there and kill us,” 7th grader Lauren Marionneaux told the local news.
Lauren sent a frantic text to her mother, who of course went into a frenzy:
“I’m panicking because I’m thinking that it’s a legitimate shooter is coming, that something bad is happening at the school.”
She also got texts from her other children, one of which read “I thought they were going to shoot me.” After parents complained, the school board released this statement:
We continually evaluate and improve our safety procedures. Drills are an important component of our preparedness… We regret any concern that parents and students might have experienced in how the drill was conducted.
When and how the drill was conducted was a secret, with students and faculty left to wonder if this was the day the horror happened to them. The official excuse was that this was done so the local police could “evaluate the school’s response.”
The school’s response was sheer terror and unnecessary stress. The school district has decided that in the future the drills would be performed by uniformed officers without weapons. Other Florida schools run the same type of drills with one exception: they do it after hours or on weekends when the building is empty.
Bonehead of the week goes to the Polk County Florida school board. Bravo.
H/T: The Free Thought Project Image: Screengrab from Video