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.


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  • identicon
    Applesauce, 19 Nov 2014 @ 9:08pm

    Home of the Brave

    I keep saying it: The (Former) Home of the Brave.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    S. T. Stone (profile), 19 Nov 2014 @ 9:19pm

    Every officer involved with that drill needs to be suspended without pay.

    Every administration official of that specific school who knew about the drill beforehand needs to be suspended and possibly fired. If they step down of their own accord, all the better.

    Every member of the school board what governs said school who knew about the drill beforehand needs to be fired. If they step down of their own accord, all the better.

    Nothing short of punishments for everyone who was involved with this fiasco and decided not to inform parents or students (and possibly teachers) beforehand should be considered acceptable. This exercise put dozens of innocent lives at risk, turned a classroom into a place of fear and mistrust, and made everyone from the officers to the prinicpal look like fools.

    This is not a situation where people need slaps on the wrist. This is a situation where people need to know that their decisions were unacceptable and shouldn’t ever be made again—and nothing short of showing that everyone is accountable for their actions will do that.

    No one involved should walk away from this unscathed.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 19 Nov 2014 @ 9:37pm

      Re:

      But teachers and other school staff are in short supply! If removed from their positions, there will be no one to replace them!

      Right?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 19 Nov 2014 @ 10:42pm

        Re: Re:

        But teachers and other school staff are in short supply!


        Wasn't the teachers involved. If this is what passes for staff approved activities, I think others can be found with at least a modicum of common sense that seems so lacking today in many areas. With jobs being as hard to find as they are today, with so many racking up student debt just to compete in the job market for part time minimum wage, I believe replacements would not be that difficult to find.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 19 Nov 2014 @ 10:48pm

        Re: Re:

        I'm not sure I'd want teachers so brain-meltingly ignorant of school massacres in the US to be teaching my children, if I'm honest.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Quiet Lurcker, 20 Nov 2014 @ 5:01am

        Re: Re:

        But teachers and other school staff are in short supply! If removed from their positions, there will be no one to replace them!

        Right?


        WRONG!

        State certified and licensed teachers and staff will be in short supply, assuming they are fired and not rehired either at the same district or at another (which won't happen in the real world, but one can hope).

        The number of people who have the potential to become very good teachers and staff is likely fairly close to identical to the number of people who are competent in their chosen field of endeavor, have common sense, and can communicate clearly.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 19 Nov 2014 @ 10:12pm

      Re:

      If you believe that those on the school side of the fiasco need to be fired, then the cops involved definitely need to be fired as well. The school administrator(s) merely gave the go-ahead for the 'drill', the cops were the ones using real guns, one of which was loaded, to terrorize the students with.

      Personally, any cop who thinks pointing a gun, loaded or not, at anyone they don't plan on shooting, is a good or even acceptable idea, is not someone I want involved or employed in any sort of official capacity.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        S. T. Stone (profile), 19 Nov 2014 @ 11:28pm

        Re: Re:

        If I thought a cop could get fired for something like this and not have a chance of getting their badge back in six months, I would’ve suggested firing them.

        But I don’t put that much faith in any police department to actually keep bad cops off the force for anything less than a major felony (and even then, that’s questionable).

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          PRMan, 20 Nov 2014 @ 7:43am

          Re: Re: Re:

          You CAN fire the cops. Where I live, we were contracted with a city next to ours for police service. We got tired of all the traffic violations while in the meantime there was a rampant home invasion crime spree that was being completely ignored. I even had to explain to them on one occasion step by step how to conduct a drug bust for my neighbors (which they surprisingly actually carried out and got a conviction).

          They were pathetic. The city finally dropped the contract with them and made one with the county instead. Many of the officers were laid off. A few of the good ones managed to get a job with the county but most of the bad ones are gone for good.

          In the first couple months they cracked down on 3 teams of home invasion specialists and put them all away. They started busting drug dealers next. And I haven't really seen a lot of traffic stops anymore (they are not really that necessary where I live because most people drive OK).

          So, there is a way and it can work.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      DOlz (profile), 20 Nov 2014 @ 5:10am

      Re:

      “No one involved should walk away from this unscathed.”

      Because the students, parents, and teachers sure has hell didn’t. Of course they’re the victims with no power so screw them and sacrifice a scapegoat to appease the short attention span public and media.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Reality bites, 20 Nov 2014 @ 6:58am

      Every officer needs to be fired then deported or put in jail.

      Not even one person involved with a braincell to their name, just empty headed drones, I say deport them all, they are too stupid to be allowed to live.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 19 Nov 2014 @ 9:36pm

    In my experience, school administration will stand by its staff until it absolutely cannot anymore. The action taken by the district is probably the most accountability anyone will get.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 19 Nov 2014 @ 9:44pm

    attitude change

    [I am not an American, btw]

    Sadly, what is *really* needed is an attitude change. The police are meant to serve and protect the public. Ignoring the insane waste of tax payers money, police resources and the practicality of the whole exercise - and ignoring the school's involvement in all of this - what if, just what if, the police actually thought: "What are the implications of doing this going to be on those I am meant to protect and serve" .. instead of the usual "time to practice our terrorizing skills", "everything must be done to get the bad guys", "cops are above the law and we can do whatever we want", "terrosism FUD", "protect the children", "cool media coverage of us doing important things" kind of thinking.

    Their attitude should reflect their policy - protect and serve first, get bad guys second.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 19 Nov 2014 @ 9:58pm

      Re: attitude change

      The police are meant to serve and protect the public.

      There's actually a court ruling in the US that says police are not required, as part of their job, to protect the public.

      I really wish that were something out of The Onion, too.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 20 Nov 2014 @ 5:46am

      Re: attitude change

      Actually, the only people police serve and protect are those in power.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 19 Nov 2014 @ 10:03pm

    This is what you get from a government spreading FUD to get it's way. That's the root of the problem. You have constantly these people in authority claiming that if they don't get their way, that the world is gonna end as we know it. They then turn right around and give out MRAPs to local police because you know, there's a war being fought on the city blocks.

    The police in this are no friggin' different. Send in the SWAT team to serve a warrant because you know, there aren't any hostage situations they can use them with. None of this is doing anything but stoking fears unnecessarily to justify the use of force.

    You have these insane ideas, like the school cafeteria having to meet these stupid calorie criteria in order to qualify for federal assistance. Giving out meals that don't supply enough calories to feed hungry children so they leave school and go tank up on crap food cause they are not getting enough at school. Or the idea little Johnny has to be suspended because he chewed his pizza slice into something vaguely looking like a gun.

    This whole era has gone stark raving loony crazy and that is what you are teaching the children. As one other said here, fire the damn batch of them that had anything to do with insane idea. Better make damn sure that anyone else with this idea in the state finds the same treatment waiting on them. Sanity has to be restored and it appears it needs to start at the very top of government and work it's way down, or at the bottom and work it's way up.

    A serious attitude change is needed, indeed.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    OldGeezer (profile), 19 Nov 2014 @ 10:07pm

    Those kids are at many hundred if not thousands times as likely to be injured or killed in a car or bus accident going to or from the school. This was a terrorist act and all involved should be charged accordingly.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 19 Nov 2014 @ 10:50pm

    At least two people shot on Florida State University campus

    At another school in Florida ...BREAKING NEWS...

    At least two people shot on Florida State University campus”, by Ryan Parker, Los Angeles Times, Nov 19, 2014 (10:32pm PST)
    At least two people were shot when a gunman opened fire at Florida State University, campus police and hospital officials confirmed to the Los Angeles Times on Wednesday night. . . .

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    That Anonymous Coward (profile), 19 Nov 2014 @ 10:50pm

    "I very much regret that our unchecked paranoia finally reached a point where parents & the media would no longer support us doing absolutely insane things to terrorize children in the name of keeping them "safe"."
    And then she should have resigned and called for the rest of the board to do the same because they are not qualified to be in charge of a cheese sandwich.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    McCrea (profile), 19 Nov 2014 @ 10:55pm

    They're still oblivious to how actual training works, for some reason. They give that "how you perform in a training is how you will respond in real life" to justify the intensity of the exercise. Protip: That is *after* you have been trained. That is more accurately described as a test, not training.

    Let's try an example. Say a police cadet must respond to an armed target. The target, only 15 meters away, will pop up. The target may or may not be armed, and the cadet has 10 seconds to evaluate the threat, and if armed, draw his weapon, fire and shoot the target. If he fails, the target will shoot and kill the cadet. For a gimme, the cadet is not penalized if he shoots an unarmed target.

    The chief can do this quite well. Always seems to down appropriate targets within 2 seconds. Rookies who have recently graduated from the academy seem to do well enough. There is almost never a mis-identification, and about the only time it takes more than 5 seconds is when there is a misfire, or other unlikely situation like dropping the pistol as it catches on a belt buckle.

    But the cadets? some do okay. Enough die, however.

    Why? Because they haven't been trained. As suggested, this is a practice situation, not a training situation. Many of these recruits have never fired a pistol before. None of these recruits have been trained before.

    I did not train them on how to prepare their weapon before hand. I did not tell them in training whether their pieces should be loaded before hand or not. (Protip: they should be loaded for this scenario). I didn't not train them what discerning markings or features to look for in order to evaluate whether the target is armed or not. I didn't train them how to unbuckle their holster. I didn't train them to know where the safety is. I didn't train them how to aim. I didn't train them to hold the pistol parallel to the horizon -- nor any other method. I didn't train them to put a round in the chamber. I didn't train them to ensure their fingers are clear of the slide so that they don't lose any digits when the slide slams back. I didn't train them how to fire a second shot.

    Now, I cannot imagine anyone saying that training someone how to take the safety off has to be performed under the stress of almost real engagement. Yes, the cadet will eventually reach the point where he must successful test under stress, but the journey from complete ignorance to fully trained (a.k.a. ready to be tested) is a progression of training.

    This scenario of mine is not training. This is a test. You need to be trained before you can practice this test.

    Those that die in this scenario prove that this was not training. After all, they are not trained; they are dead.

    Those students? Are they trained now, or are they traumatized? The School Shooter Drill was a test, it was not training.

    *IF* such training for school student were to ever be implemented, it has to be by degrees. Perhaps *training* once a month for 8 months, then you can run your full *test* in the 9th month as a graduation send off.

    But such drills under as real circumstances as possible are nonsensical to me. The kids are arguable being terrorized. You know, the terrorist only win if we live in fear. You are making the children live in fear by doing this training. You are the terrorist.

    But if we are going to talk about this, please dismiss this myth -- this misnomer -- that "training must be done under real-life circumstances." No, training is something different entirely. Training is what you do so that you act appropriately when tested. Training is what you do BEFORE the test.

    Training would ideally also decrease the amount of traumatizing stress a participator absorbs. The stress of real life combat situations, unfortunately, cannot be trained for. Simulating real life combat situations will always have the chance to mentally scar people.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 20 Nov 2014 @ 3:29am

      Re:

      Simulating real life combat situations will always have the chance to mentally scar people.


      Therefore you do not involve people without their consent, and you do not involve minors.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 20 Nov 2014 @ 8:22am

        Re: Re:

        Simulating real life combat situations will always have the chance to mentally scar people.

        THIS IS NOT COMBAT! This is a fucking school with kids in it! These fucktards have no business "training" for "combat" in our schools.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          McCrea (profile), 20 Nov 2014 @ 11:21am

          Re: Re: Re:

          I said it was nonsense. ("such drills ... are nonsensical to me.") Why are you yelling at me as if I don't understand it's not combat when that paragraph explains why they should not be treating the children in this manner?

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 20 Nov 2014 @ 8:24am

        Re: Re:

        Oooops - meant the reply for the OP.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Coyne Tibbets (profile), 19 Nov 2014 @ 11:07pm

    What the hell is the matter with you people?

    The answer to that question is: They aren't thinking. They're just doing, seeking political points.

    Probably the best recent example of that was the school police force that acquired a grenade launcher. What possible use could a launcher for grenades have--what use could grenades have--that wouldn't be likely to do more harm to the kids than to an attacker?

    At the rate we're going, pretty soon we'll see an announcement like this one:
    The Spring Vally School System Police Force has acquired a 10-megaton tactical nuclear weapon, in order to better protect your children.
    No doubt, the strategy is that, if someone attacks the school, just set off the nuke and--Presto!--no attackers anymore.

    The point is that we've reached the stage where the only thing that matters is the security theater and political points:
    Hey look, we can get a humvee! We can be better than the school next door.
    Hey look, we can get a grenade launcher! We can be better than the school next door.
    Hey look, we can get a tank! We can be better than the school next door.
    Hey look, we can get a drone! We can be better than the school next door.
    Hey look, we can get a figher jet! We can be better than the school next door.
    Hey look, we can get a 10-megaton nuclear weapon! We can be better than the school next door.

    ...and each time, that's where the thinking ends.

    The risk in these school drills is horrible; that some kid will die of a panic attack, asthma, some other medical problem, a fall or other accident, or get shot is just petrifying.

    But who cares, when we can make an impression on the locals and show how much better protectors we are than the school district next door?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    S. T. Stone, 19 Nov 2014 @ 11:32pm

    Another one falls. sort of.

    Lockdown Drill at Jewett Middle: School Officer Taken Off Resource Force

    The Winter Haven Police Department school resource officer who helped plan the controversial school lockdown drill at Jewett Middle Academy Magnet has been taken off that unit. Officer Derrick Doles has been transferred to the patrol unit and will not face further disciplinary action, said department spokeswoman Jamie Brown. The Police Department will not be conducting an internal investigation regarding last Thursday’s drill.


    So yeah, this looks to be the end of any accountability for this—outside of potential lawsuits, anyway.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Lawrence D’Oliveiro, 19 Nov 2014 @ 11:54pm

    School Shootings In The US Are NOT Incredibly Rare

    Consider New Zealand, a country with about 1.5% the population of the US. So it should have 1.5% the incidence of school shootings. According to Wikipedia, the US currently seems to have about one of these a week. Therefore, if the US was average, the comparable incidence in NZ should be about 3 every 4 years.

    New Zealand has never had a school shooting, in records going back over a hundred years. Not a single one.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      McCrea (profile), 20 Nov 2014 @ 12:07am

      Re: School Shootings In The US Are NOT Incredibly Rare

      Anything pragmatic that can be derived from that fact?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        tqk (profile), 20 Nov 2014 @ 8:03am

        Re: Re: School Shootings In The US Are NOT Incredibly Rare

        New Zealand has never had a school shooting ...

        Anything pragmatic that can be derived from that fact?

        Certainly. Some percentage of the population are okay with using guns as offensive weapons against innocent civilians. New Zealanders probably have the same problem though their deranged lunatics are likely forced to use knives and such instead.

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      • identicon
        Pragmatic, 25 Nov 2014 @ 5:00am

        Re: Re: School Shootings In The US Are NOT Incredibly Rare

        It's not a fact. The "one a week" figure is an exaggeration, per Politifact, if you only count people walking into schools and actually shooting at people.

        An airlocked reception area where people have to check in before entering the building would probably prevent another shooting, there's no need for guns in the classroom.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 20 Nov 2014 @ 1:26am

      Re: School Shootings In The US Are NOT Incredibly Rare

      How many times has the US had a foreign swat team swoop in and terrorize a citizen for copyright infringement? If New Zealand is average...

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Dark Helmet (profile), 20 Nov 2014 @ 3:41am

      Re: School Shootings In The US Are NOT Incredibly Rare

      That Wikipedia page is the EXACT statistics I've been debunking in three straight articles now, and you went ahead and cited them anyway.

      As far as NZ not having any recorded school shooting deaths:

      A. I don't believe that zero statistic and
      B. Ignoring the obvious population and internal topology of the two countries is great if you want to boast about New Zealand but otherwise incredibly pointless...

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 20 Nov 2014 @ 6:18am

        Re: Re: School Shootings In The US Are NOT Incredibly Rare

        http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/8112416/Murder-in-a-small-Kiwi-school

        There .. we had one :)

        IMO, comparing apples to oranges is pointless. This is about American police and American schools.

        -- but here's some random thoughts since you brought it up --

        To maybe give some insight into why we've only had one school shooting (that we know of), NZ does not have a gun culture, or a "constitution" with the "right to carry arms", nor "stand your ground" or "open carry" etc - plus gun checks and licenses are stringent. For sure we have guns (farmers for shooting rabbits, gangs etc), but I can honestly say that 95% of the population doesn't have any firearms and wouldn't even know how to use them - and those that do, the range/types are limited (I don't know any figures but its strictly controlled - eg automatic/assault etc - anything like that would be a collector's item only). And there are checks to make sure guns are locked away, unloaded, triggers removed etc - you lose your license otherwise - and yes it happens). I mean, FFS, even the police don't carry guns (AFAIK, most/all squad cars will have some in their car boots, locked up. in fact, i think only the supervisors/commanders have them - not all cars). And these only come out if needed. Additionally, we have AOS (armed offenders squads) for this sort of thing - that's right, our police call on specialized and trained squads if they need guns.

        In short, NZ does not have an *attitude* about guns, or a gun culture of any sort. By *attitude* I mean the tired old tropes about guns needed for protection, armed teachers would be able to save the day, guns don't kill people, it's my right to bear arms so I will to show I'm American, and a thousand other excuses that seem to be ingrained as truth (no offense intended). Sure we have armed holdups and deaths from guns (robberies, gangs), but very few, and dare I say it we probably have a better detection and support system to deal with the mentally ill (but nothing is ever perfect), which is usually the cause of these mass shootings.

        On the flip side .. stabbings, beatings to death with sheep legs, and hobbit-missile launches may be higher (per capita) .. who knows.

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      • identicon
        Lawrence D’Oliveiro, 20 Nov 2014 @ 9:42pm

        Re: I don't believe

        And there, folks, is faith-based ideology running roughshod over facts.

        Ever thought you would see that on Techdirt, a site which has built a reputation over the years for its meticulous research into empirical facts as opposed to relying on preconception and prejudice?

        Yet it seems for all your expertise on matters copyright and patent, you are just as badly afflicted by the US national blind spot on the dangers of guns.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 19 Nov 2014 @ 11:54pm

    Terrorism

    Seriously, the Principal should be charged with terrorism since that is exactly what he did.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 20 Nov 2014 @ 1:01am

    "sensationalist and lazy mass media"
    Thats a nice way to describe a corrupt group who pushes a political narrative.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Capt ICE Enforcer, 20 Nov 2014 @ 3:21am

    Shout it out.

    Shocked the article wasn't in all CAPS...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 20 Nov 2014 @ 4:41am

    There may not be more *shootings*, but there are more *deaths* relating to said shootings. Up until "recently" it was single deaths, not mass.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Groaker (profile), 20 Nov 2014 @ 5:28am

    All those who took part in planning this little "exercise" should be tried for conspiracy. But that won't happen, because in schools we punish our children like adults, and adults like children.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Misha Springfield, 20 Nov 2014 @ 5:41am

    Disgusting. Seems like the board just decided to simply throw the principal under the bus.

    That the superintendent looks only kinda sorta maybe just a tiny bit repentant because of the reaction to this "drill" shows a whole new level of being woefully obtuse.

    That she used the word "regret" instead of something like "shocked," even though both are pretty much PR speak, shows a ridiculous lack of judgment when someone in her position really should know better.

    That she seems convinced that this was a mere procedural mistake that could be remedied by the introduction of new rules, instead of reconsidering the sanity of having such a "drill" at all, shows a silly appeal to authority in the sense of telling everyone to calm the fuck down, because she knows how to make things better.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 20 Nov 2014 @ 6:04am

    Fathers and students together could organize a School Shooter Drill without telling the teachers and the cops ?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 20 Nov 2014 @ 6:20am

    Apparently those in positions of authority think our children are props to used in their training exercises. That is seriously messed up. I see these numerous instances of "training" as terrorism, plain and simple. Why are these domestic terrorists allowed to roam freely among society scaring the shit out of people for no apparent reason? Shooting drills should not involve the general public and certainly not children, as that would be insane. But then insane people are not capable of seeing themselves as such and think they are acting appropriately, they are a threat to themselves and others.

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  • icon
    Groaker (profile), 20 Nov 2014 @ 6:33am

    Worst school massacre in 1927

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Rich Kulawiec, 20 Nov 2014 @ 6:58am

    Great way to train them to be victims

    Let us suppose for a moment that this outrageous farce of a self-indulgent exercise in gratuitous ego reinforcement ("ooooh! we get to play with our big guns!") is taken for what it's claimed to be: a training exercise.

    If we grant that premise for the purpose of argument, then in addition to recognizing that it trains police, we must recognize that it also trains staff, faculty -- and students.

    And what does it train them?

    It trains them that a group of heavily-armed men wearing uniforms and full combat gear and pointing loaded weapons at them are (putatively) The Good Guys.

    Which will not work out well when one day The Bad Guys avail themselves of the nearest military surplus store and show up looking and acting exactly like The Good Guys. How is a middle school student, or for that matter, an adult, to discern the difference?

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 20 Nov 2014 @ 7:05am

    "What the hell is the matter with you people?"

    Exactly my thoughts, and the feeling i know thats behind them in conjuction to whats being discussed

    You're not alone

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 20 Nov 2014 @ 7:06am

    Story has it that the cops in this instance had live ammo in their drawn weapon in the school. I dont care if they were pointing it at the ground, doesn't make any difference as it should not happen at all. Gun safety apparently is not part of their training.

    I was just looking into the use of live ammo in these "training exercises". Seems there have been a few tragic events where one cop shot another.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Michael, 20 Nov 2014 @ 7:52am

      Re:

      They shouldn't be running an exercise like this with children around AT ALL.

      If they want to practice what to do during a school shooting - do that on Saturday. There is absolutely no benefit to having scared children around during this training. Even unarmed, having a group of police officers running through your school kicking doors open seems like a rather dumb thing to do.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 20 Nov 2014 @ 7:59am

      Re: (gun safety)

      Happens in the military, too. At least the Special Forces community has a 'no bullshit' policy: safety failure of any kind and you're no longer in Special Forces.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Jeff, 20 Nov 2014 @ 8:03am

    Zero Tolerance?

    My biggest issue with this is the hypocrisy with regard to the "Zero Tolerance" policy on guns in the school. If such a policy is going to live up to its namesake, it should also apply to police officers (except under exceptional circumstances).

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 20 Nov 2014 @ 8:36am

    Governments from around the world admit they carry out false flag terror:

    A major with the Nazi SS admitted at the Nuremberg trials that – under orders from the chief of the Gestapo – he and some other Nazi operatives faked attacks on their own people and resources which they blamed on the Poles, to justify the invasion of Poland. Nazi general Franz Halder also testified at the Nuremberg trials that Nazi leader Hermann Goering admitted to setting fire to the German parliament building, and then falsely blaming the communists for the arson

    Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev admitted in writing that the Soviet Union’s Red Army shelled the Russian village of Mainila in 1939, and declared that the fire originated from Finland as a basis launching the Winter War four days later

    Israel admits that an Israeli terrorist cell operating in Egypt planted bombs in several buildings, including U.S. diplomatic facilities, then left behind “evidence” implicating the Arabs as the culprits (one of the bombs detonated prematurely, allowing the Egyptians to identify the bombers, and several of the Israelis later confessed) (and see this and this)

    The CIA admits that it hired Iranians in the 1950′s to pose as Communists and stage bombings in Iran in order to turn the country against its democratically-elected prime minister

    The former Italian Prime Minister, an Italian judge, and the former head of Italian counterintelligence admit that NATO, with the help of the Pentagon and CIA, carried out terror bombings in Italy and other European countries in the 1950s and blamed the communists, in order to rally people’s support for their governments in Europe in their fight against communism. As one participant in this formerly-secret program stated: “You had to attack civilians, people, women, children, innocent people, unknown people far removed from any political game. The reason was quite simple. They were supposed to force these people, the Italian public, to turn to the state to ask for greater security” (and see this)(Italy and other European countries subject to the terror campaign had joined NATO before the bombings occurred). And watch this BBC special

    As admitted by the U.S. government, recently declassified documents show that in the 1960′s, the American Joint Chiefs of Staff signed off on a plan to blow up AMERICAN airplanes (using an elaborate plan involving the switching of airplanes), and also to commit terrorist acts on American soil, and then to blame it on the Cubans in order to justify an invasion of Cuba. See the following ABC news report; the official documents; and watch this interview with the former Washington Investigative Producer for ABC’s World News Tonight with Peter Jennings.

    2 years before, American Senator George Smathers had suggested that the U.S. make “a false attack made on Guantanamo Bay which would give us the excuse of actually fomenting a fight which would then give us the excuse to go in and [overthrow Castro]“.

    And Official State Department documents show that – only nine months before the Joint Chiefs of Staff plan was proposed – the head of the Joint Chiefs and other high-level officials discussed blowing up a consulate in the Dominican Republic in order to justify an invasion of that country. The 3 plans were not carried out, but they were all discussed as serious proposals

    The South African Truth and Reconciliation Council found that, in 1989, the Civil Cooperation Bureau (a covert branch of the South African Defense Force) approached an explosives expert and asked him “to participate in an operation aimed at discrediting the ANC [the African National Congress] by bombing the police vehicle of the investigating officer into the murder incident”, thus framing the ANC for the bombing

    An Algerian diplomat and several officers in the Algerian army admit that, in the 1990s, the Algerian army frequently massacred Algerian civilians and then blamed Islamic militants for the killings (and see this video; and Agence France-Presse, 9/27/2002, French Court Dismisses Algerian Defamation Suit Against Author)

    Senior Russian Senior military and intelligence officers admit that the KGB blew up Russian apartment buildings and falsely blamed it on Chechens, in order to justify an invasion of Chechnya (and see this report and this discussion)

    According to the Washington Post, Indonesian police admit that the Indonesian military killed American teachers in Papua in 2002 and blamed the murders on a Papuan separatist group in order to get that group listed as a terrorist organization.

    The well-respected former Indonesian president also admits that the government probably had a role in the Bali bombings

    As reported by BBC, the New York Times, and Associated Press, Macedonian officials admit that the government murdered 7 innocent immigrants in cold blood and pretended that they were Al Qaeda soldiers attempting to assassinate Macedonian police, in order to join the “war on terror”.

    Although the FBI now admits that the 2001 anthrax attacks were carried out by one or more U.S. government scientists, a senior FBI official says that the FBI was actually told to blame the Anthrax attacks on Al Qaeda by White House officials (remember what the anthrax letters looked like). Government officials also confirm that the white House tried to link the anthrax to Iraq as a justification for regime change in that country

    Former Department of Justice lawyer John Yoo suggested in 2005 that the US should go on the offensive against al-Qaeda, having “our intelligence agencies create a false terrorist organization. It could have its own websites, recruitment centers, training camps, and fundraising operations. It could launch fake terrorist operations and claim credit for real terrorist strikes, helping to sow confusion within al-Qaeda’s ranks, causing operatives to doubt others’ identities and to question the validity of communications.”

    United Press International reported in June 2005:

    U.S. intelligence officers are reporting that some of the insurgents in Iraq are using recent-model Beretta 92 pistols, but the pistols seem to have had their serial numbers erased. The numbers do not appear to have been physically removed; the pistols seem to have come off a production line without any serial numbers. Analysts suggest the lack of serial numbers indicates that the weapons were intended for intelligence operations or terrorist cells with substantial government backing. Analysts speculate that these guns are probably from either Mossad or the CIA. Analysts speculate that agent provocateurs may be using the untraceable weapons even as U.S. authorities use insurgent attacks against civilians as evidence of the illegitimacy of the resistance.

    Undercover Israeli soldiers admitted in 2005 to throwing stones at other Israeli soldiers so they could blame it on Palestinians, as an excuse to crack down on peaceful protests by the Palestinians

    Quebec police admitted that, in 2007, thugs carrying rocks to a peaceful protest were actually undercover Quebec police officers (and see this)

    At the G20 protests in London in 2009, a British member of parliament saw plain clothes police officers attempting to incite the crowd to violence

    A Colombian army colonel has admitted that his unit murdered 57 civilians, then dressed them in uniforms and claimed they were rebels killed in combat

    U.S. soldiers have admitted that if they kill innocent Iraqis and Afghanis, they then “drop” automatic weapons near their body so they can pretend they were militants

    The highly-respected writer for the Telegraph Ambrose Evans-Pritchard says that the head of Saudi intelligence – Prince Bandar – admitted last the Saudi government controls “Chechen” terrorists

    So Common … There’s a Name for It

    This tactic is so common that it was given a name for hundreds of years ago.

    “False flag terrorism” is defined as a government attacking its own people, then blaming others in order to justify going to war against the people it blames. Or as Wikipedia defines it:

    False flag operations are covert operations conducted by governments, corporations, or other organizations, which are designed to appear as if they are being carried out by other entities. The name is derived from the military concept of flying false colors; that is, flying the flag of a country other than one’s own. False flag operations are not limited to war and counter-insurgency operations, and have been used in peace-time; for example, during Italy’s strategy of tension.

    The term comes from the old days of wooden ships, when one ship would hang the flag of its enemy before attacking another ship in its own navy. Because the enemy’s flag, instead of the flag of the real country of the attacking ship, was hung, it was called a “false flag” attack.

    Indeed, this concept is so well-accepted that rules of engagement for naval, air and land warfare all prohibit false flag attacks.
    Leaders Throughout History Have Acknowledged False Flags

    Leaders throughout history have acknowledged the danger of false flags:

    “This and no other is the root from which a tyrant springs; when he first appears he is a protector.”
    - Plato

    “If Tyranny and Oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy.”
    - U.S. President James Madison

    “A history of false flag attacks used to manipulate the minds of the people! “In individuals, insanity is rare; but in groups, parties, nations, and epochs it is the rule.”
    ― Friedrich Nietzsche

    “Terrorism is the best political weapon for nothing drives people harder than a fear of sudden death”.
    - Adolph Hitler

    “Why of course the people don’t want war … But after all it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy, and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship … Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is to tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country.”
    - Hermann Goering, Nazi leader.

    “The easiest way to gain control of a population is to carry out acts of terror. [The public] will clamor for such laws if their personal security is threatened”.
    - Josef Stalin

    People Are Waking Up to False Flags

    People are slowly waking up to this whole con job by governments who want to justify war.

    More people are talking about the phrase “false flag” than ever before.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 20 Nov 2014 @ 10:13am

    I love (loathe) the use of passive language here. "I very much regret that this occurred", as if we were discussing rain on field day. As if the principal had no involvement in anything at any point. Weak and flacid language showing weak and flacid thinking.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Roger Strong (profile), 20 Nov 2014 @ 10:44am

    I cannot repeat this enough: school shootings are incredibly rare, they are not increasing in frequency

    Likewise, growing up in the 1970s, I thought that quicksand would be a much bigger problem than it turned out to be.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    freebird, 20 Nov 2014 @ 11:22am

    organized terrorists

    Although very sick and disturbing what the school and police did. I some how find it appropriate that people see first hand who the real terrorists are in this country.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Stan (profile), 20 Nov 2014 @ 11:40am

    What are the police to do now?

    If schools are inappropriate as training grounds, what is a good alternative?

    Here's an idea.

    Have police perform their un-announced, anti-terrorist swat drills at their local city halls. Time these drills to co-incide with council meetings, so that commissioners can praise the police for their precision and professionalism they showed while securing council chambers and meeting halls.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Tony (profile), 20 Nov 2014 @ 1:21pm

    nothing will happen

    All 'accountability' has been had. Nothing further will happen.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      tqk (profile), 20 Nov 2014 @ 5:55pm

      Re: nothing will happen

      All 'accountability' has been had. Nothing further will happen.

      You should never try to predict the actions of people who vehemently disagree with established truths.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    toyotabedzrock (profile), 20 Nov 2014 @ 4:35pm

    School shootings are not increasing if you try to limit what you call a school shooting. But the limits libertarians want are absurd.

    The proposed limits would have you exclude incidents where no one who goes to the school is involved but I think parents would disagree with that.

    That said what this school did was insane.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    OldGeezer (profile), 21 Nov 2014 @ 3:12am

    When I was in school I can remember fire drills were scheduled and when the alarm went off everyone was calmly led to designated areas. There were blockades set up differently each time to practice alternate routes out of the building. No one had to be traumatized and we knew exactly what to do should there ever be a real emergency. I don't think we would have been better prepared if suddenly smoke bombs were set off in the hallways and a dozen fire trucks pulled up with sirens blazing. The idiots that planned this should face criminal charges. Free speech does not give you the right to shout fire in a crowded theater.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 22 Nov 2014 @ 5:00pm

      Re:

      Could you imagine the Fire Department showing up unannounced, secretly starting the school on fire just for the training exercise?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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