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April 9, 2014

Teachers Apparently Object to Being Shot

Summary:

"Active shooter" drills make teachers and students familiar with the sounds of gunfire and with in-pants urination -- and will lead to claims.

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I can’t say that I blame them, actually.

Missouri legislators have mandated that teachers and students in public schools undergo “active shooter” drills. I suppose people call Missouri the “Show Me State” for a reason. Teachers in St. Francois County, MO, have complained because their duties now include being shot at with pellet guns during these drills. This despite being told that they would be required to wear goggles to protect their eyes. Pansies. It’s not like the welts and bruises won’t eventually heal.

To be fair, it seems the Missouri legislature was not alone. In the wake of the Sandy Hook school massacre, several states now require active shooter drills be performed in public schools. These often-unannounced drills are designed to assist law enforcement in procedure development, and to make teachers and students familiar with the sounds of gunshots and with in-pants urination.

What a brilliant idea. I can think of no better way to keep that pesky teachers union in line while simultaneously terrorizing innocent children. A real twofer from the Marquis de Sade School of Training, if you will.

Seriously, who thinks this is a good idea?

Can we not foresee (legitimate) stress claims arising from teachers who now must, sometimes without notice, deal with “active shooters”? And doesn’t this whole charade lead to a possible over-familiarization, so that people won’t respond when they need to – believing a real assault is just a drill?

Because not all drills are announced, teachers can’t comfortably secure that safety gear they are required to wear. In Texas, an unannounced drill last year in El Paso angered many parents dealing with traumatized children who thought the attack was real. These drills are moronic, knee-jerk thinking that won’t help anybody, but might be a boon for the undergarment industry.

As I have previously noted, I am but a simple boy from Durango. My crazy-ass solution to the “active shooter” scenario could best be summed up by this phrase: active defenders. If you want teachers to be familiar with the sound of gunfire, take them to a gun range and teach them how to handle a weapon. And when they are done, certify them to carry if they wish. Some people will think that is nuts – truly certifiable – but I maintain it is less crazy than creating “Gun-Free Zones” that provide target-rich environments for whackjobs who are not overly concerned with violating useless gun registration laws. And my approach is certainly a better defense than teaching people how to hide in a closet and pray that “this one is a drill.”

Our children and teachers are now far more likely in some states to be traumatized by a law-enforcement exercise than by a real “active shooter.” Still, we live in a world where the mentally ill do not get help until it is too late. We do need to be prepared to defend our children from terrible assaults like the one at Sandy Hook. I just wish the people of Missouri and other states could show me a better way than the path they have chosen.

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About the Author

Bob Wilson is a founding partner, president and CEO of WorkersCompensation.com, based in Sarasota, Fla. He has presented at seminars and conferences on a variety of topics, related to both technology within the workers’ compensation industry and bettering the workers’ comp system through improved employee/employer relations and claims management techniques.

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