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Children Subjected to Terrifying “Gunman Attack” on School Trip

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The post-Virginia Tech hysteria has finally hit innocent victims. Teachers from a school in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, entrusted with a group of little kids on what should have been an enjoyable educational trip, decided to experiment last Thursday night.

They wondered what would happen if a gunman attacked. How would they cope? What would the kids do? This turned into a nasty “prank” they later tried to pass off as a drill, in which staff enacted a gun-siege situation, traumatizing their 6th-grade students.

Scales Elementary School Assistant Principal Don Bartch, who led the trip, got together with his colleague, teacher Quentin Masters, and decided to stage a mock attack on their young charges – a “drill,” if you will, but a drill with a difference. The teachers told the students a gunman was on the loose and their lives were in danger.

For five horrifying minutes, 69 children hid, cried, and begged for their lives under tables in a locked, dark room while a teacher, disguised in a hooded sweatshirt pulled at the locked door like the Big Bad Wolf and pretended to grapple with an armed assailant. What made this worse, if it could be worse, is that the children had, according to the school, already been put through properly organised Red Code drills in the wake of the VT and other campus and school shootings, so they were fully aware of the implications of a real alert.

Their teachers repeatedly told the kids it was not a drill, that it was a Code Red situation. This effectively abused the trust built up by the process of authentic drills and made their experience all the more traumatic and all the more cruel.

Principal Catherine Stephens said the events “involved poor judgment.” More like a poor grip on reality, in my opinion. Scales Elementary School Assistant Principal Don Bartch who has now been suspended along with his colleague amidst the public outcry, said, “We got together and discussed what we would have done in a real situation.”

Newsflash! Having 69 vulnerable young people in your care is a real life situation. Instead of dealing with reality appropriately and in a trustworthy manner, he and his colleagues decided to play fantasy games with children’s emotional well-being. If I were a parent of one of those children, I’d sue his ass. If I were any of the staff involved I’d be looking for another job – perhaps “World Of Warcraft” needs people?

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About Elaine Borthwick

  • Me2

    Your account is not entirely accurate. Either way it is amazing how utterly stupid of an act this was. But why have they not been fired? And why has the local newspaper, some parents and even some students spoken up to show support for the teachers involved. Why didn’t the board use this as a golden opportunity to remove them from there post? Were they considered good teachers up until this point and these people backing them up are giving them the benefit of the doubt on this horrible transgression?

    Is this another example that it takes years to build a good reputation and five minutes to loose it?

  • http://www.trytoremaincalm.blogspot.com High Heels

    Sorry for any innacuracies. I wonder what they are? I used the local newspaper reports and CNN as sources, which included parental and student comments on the events.

    I’m interested that you had the same initial reaction as I did when I first read the report… these guys should lose their jobs etc…
    Then I thought maybe the kids should have a chance to take some control of the consequences, and be given a chance to be heard regarding this; even if it meant they choose to forgive if it helps them. It’s dificult. I think if I’d done what those teahcers done, I’d take serious stock of my professional suitability.
    Thanks for your interesting comment, anyhow.

  • Ken K

    Carrying guns is certainly one factor in the happening of this tragedy, which does raise some serious questions. Still, it may not be a direct result of carrying guns or not. Citizens should be allowed to have a full space against governmental intrusions, which could be worse than individual incidents as this one. On this issue, people should widen their views. For example, in today’s China, there is still an abusive government. Read a brilliant new book: China and the new world order: how entrepreneurship, globalization and borderless business are shaping China and the world, by george zhibin gu, which gives a very provocative analysis on the need to control the government, among other key issues. In fact, the author gives huge ideas on the political and economic changes inside China.

  • Billybob

    If the kids were allowed to carry guns this would not happen.