Middle School Principal Suspended Over Unannounced School Shooter Drill
from the not-enough dept
Listen up, everyone, because I think this is important and I’m very serious about this. The Florida middle school we recently discussed that conducted an unannounced active school shooter drill with armed police bursting into darkened classrooms full of terrified students and teachers has taken action. That action has been suspending the school’s principal pending an investigation to be conducted by the school district.
“I very much regret that this occurred,” Superintendent of Schools Kathryn LeRoy said Tuesday evening during a School Board meeting. LeRoy said Jewett Principal Jacquelyn Moore was suspended Tuesday pending an internal investigation. In the past, the School District has not informed students, parents or staff members in advance about lockdown drills. But LeRoy specified some new rules for the future.
Let me be clear: this isn’t enough. The issue of irrational overreaction to an exaggerated fear of school shootings runs far deeper than one principal, and her suspension should not be allowed to assuage the outrage and anger this story has generated. This cannot become a sweep-it-under-the-rug story. None of this has occurred in a vaccum, after all. We’ve seen examples of these kinds of insane drills in the past and we’ve recently covered stories about potential massive amounts of money going into systems designed for school shooting situations. And, damn it, I cannot repeat this enough: school shootings are incredibly rare, they are not increasing in frequency, and the average child is safer in their school than they are in most other places on Earth. In the face of the actual reality regarding school shootings and our reactions to them, a principal’s suspension is not enough. It must only be the start. Because if it isn’t, here’s what you’ll get from people like the aforementioned school Superintendent LeRoy.
From now on, she said, officers will not carry weapons during such practice; administrators should send a message to parents at the beginning of the drill and let students know a drill is taking place; and staff members should be on hand at the school entrance and answering phones to let callers know the lockdown is just a drill.
What the hell is the matter with you people? I realize that for a politician or government official, or even someone in law enforcement, standing in front of a public whose fear has been stoked by a sensationalist and lazy mass media, telling them all to calm the hell down because they’re getting worried over nothing isn’t the popular thing to do. It isn’t the politically expediant thing to do. But it would be the right thing to do. When that happens, you’ll know things are actually getting better, and not before.