“A surreal scene unfolded around noon on Tuesday,” purduereview.com reports. “As a gunman shot an instructor at point-blank range in front of a classroom of students, some Purdue professors continued to teach class as if nothing was amiss, ignoring students’ pleas to lock the doors and turn off the lights. ‘I’ll have the TA tackle him if he comes in,’ joked Professor Rebecca Trax, according to Sami Menard, a student in her 12:00 Introduction to Accounting class. Trax may very well have been describing the scene that unfolded in the Electrical Engineering building, where a TA was killed.” And if you think that was bad (and it was) check this out . . .
Professor Trax was not the only faculty member who disregarded the danger. Student Claire Gordon said that Miyoung Hong, an instructor in the College of Liberal arts, insisted that there were no threats, and propped open a door after another instructor had closed it.
Student Bryce Shaffer told The Purdue Review that Professor Alon Kantor cracked jokes. “[He] told us we’re being typical Americans and hysterical for asking him to lock doors, and [continued] lecturing.”
Students also reported that many other professors and instructors made no adjustments. The indifference was not unique to one department or building. Professors teaching in the Physics, University, and Armstrong buildings paid no heed to the warnings. Many students felt unsafe and wanted to leave, but felt they could not because of the shelter-in-place protocol.
I’m sorry, but this is the sheep leading the sheep. You expect Ivory Tower professors to live in a permanent state of denial about the reality of violence. [NB: Ivory Tower professors are a sub-group of all academics. There are plenty of educators who know the score when it comes to self-defense.] But you’d hope that some of their charges would know enough to get the hell out of Dodge when they see text alerts on their phone indicating that an active shooter’s on campus. Or at least lock the doors and hide.
Hang on! I’ve got an idea! Someone with a gun could close the doors, pull the shades, put the kids behind cover or concealment, aim their weapon at the door and wait for whatever comes – or doesn’t come – next. Sounds crazy but it just might work! Wait! It does! [Click here for the truth about protecting students from active shooters.]