duck and cover school shooting drill
Walter Albertin [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
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Schools engaging in security theater rather than giving teachers and school personnel the means to defend students against an attacker if the worst actually happens . . .

Then there’s the question of why we subject the kids to these drills at all. Despite the wall-to-wall hysteria over school shootings, it is extremely unlikely for any student to experience such an event.

A Washington Post column last year by David Ropeik, author of “How Risky Is It, Really?,” highlighted the rarity of a school shooting. Ropeik writes: “The statistical likelihood of any given public-school student being killed by a gun, in school, on any given day since 1999 was roughly 1 in 614,000,000. And since the 1990s, shootings at schools have been getting less common.”

Meanwhile, according to National Geographic, “the odds of becoming a lightning victim in the US in any one year is 1 in 700,000. The odds of being struck in your lifetime is 1 in 3,000.” And according to the National Safety Council, your chance of dying in a motor vehicle accident is 1 in 103.

We don’t have our kids practice car accidents or what to do if struck by lightning, because we know that preparing for these unlikely events is impossible, and scaring our children over the possibility would outweigh any benefit the preparation might offer. Yet in schools, we have decided that terrifying our kids is OK.

Carol Markowicz in School shooter drills terrorize our kids pointlessly

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  1. Get the hell out of here with your common sense and rationality – there is no place for that where we’re going.

  2. “Then there’s the question of why we subject the kids to these drills at all.”

    1. To plant the seed of an idea, in case any students are susceptible to suggestions about actually doing a school shooting, this will get them thinking about doing it, and we might get more school shootings, which we can use as an excuse for more totalitarian legislation.

    2. If we run future school shooters through a school shooter reaction drill, they’ll know what to expect as a response to their school shooting, and will be better prepared to overcome that response, thus jacking up the kill count.

    • FedUp, think you are close to the truth with your two points.. Have repeatedly asked about the school shooters being “nudged” by a handler. Identify a troubled kid….there are more and more in todays mixed up, confused generations……and assign an undercover handler to plant the seeds of terror, and gently, subtlety nudge them toward action with arranged access to the necessary tools supporting agenda de jour…..scary black ARs, all semi-automatics, large capacity magazines, bump stock (actually positioning for firearm accessories and customization), and now suppressors. Interesting how instantaneously Wasserman-Schultz was able to respond to the Florida school shooting with printed materials and mobilized bused in masses. Hmmm….telepathic or just prior knowledge from a handler.???? Soon, longer range hits will begin occurring to go after the bolt action Precision Rifle crowd. Slowly, surely cover all the bases toward “common sense” just ban all firearms in the hands of The Little People. Eat that elephant….er, Second Amendment… bite…, gun type……at a time. Burp….can’t believe I ate the whole thing.

      • No need for “handlers.” Our facked-up society is more than sufficient to produce murderous derangement in vulnerable boys.

        The instantaneous anti-gun response is because the progressives have a full psyops-style organization built specifically for that purpose. A few emails and phone calls, and people who have the money and resources leap into action. They really do have all the resources and materials ready to go at the push of a button.

        If our side had that kind of organization and coordination, the anti-gun astroturfers wouldn’t stand a chance. They’re organized at a level we could only dream of.

        • Being a productive working member of society DOES interfere with ones time for “community organizing” and “activism”. So sad.

        • It’s comforting to think of the enemy as a bunch of unemployed nebbishes, but that’s only true of the lemmings who hop on the tour bus and hold signs.

          The anti-gun organizers are so effective precisely because they ARE professionals who have real jobs. They’re pros in advertising, marketing, PR, finance, you name it — and being willing to take time in addition to the day job and put their expertise, resources, and contacts to use whenever the bat-signal goes up is their “community service.”

          Our side really needs to take a lesson from them.

    • There is a third option too…..

      Get the kids used to submitting to authority and conditioning them that they should submit to ‘persons in authority’ when something happens.

      • They already have… that’s why the threat of socialism exists today. Those kids you are talking about are old enough to vote and have been manipulated like that their entire life.

  3. “Carol Markowicz in School shooter drills terrorize our kids pointlessly”

    Evidently she’s not old enough to remember the “duck and cover” drills of the ’60’s and ’70’s…or the fire drills…all done within schools…it’s better to drill and practice for something that may never happen, than wait for it to happen and not know what to do…

    • There is a difference between atomic “duck and cover” drills vs. fire drills.

      We couldn’t know what the probability of an atomic attack might be. We could – and did – know how ineffective hiding from radiation under a desk would be. That exercise was security theater. Or, maybe a means for the education establishment to build an aversion for atomic weapons in children who would grow up to become voters.

      We do know what the probability of a fire is. The insurance industry has actuarial tables that keep them in business. We know that getting people out of a burning building is effective.

      “Active shooter” events are different from both of the above. Cowering under desks does a little good except when the shooter is spraying-and-praying. A little wood in the path of the bullet will reduce penetration. But that is very little good. If we do anything, it ought to be something with a rational for being significantly effective.

      Bolting doors on alarm serves to contain the shooter to the first 1 or 2 rooms. Better 30 – 60 die then 300 – 600. Still, this implies some acceptance of a casualty count of 30 – 60. If that’s not good enough then we shouldn’t stop thinking about preparation.

      The effort probably should be directed at stopping an active shooter from penetrating the protected space. Then, assuming he might penetrate, to stop the shooting after only one or two casualties.

      Here the big difficulty is in persuading the audience that victims ought to be trained to become active agents in their own defense. Children under 10 probably can’t do anything; so, it becomes more important to prevent penetration in these cases. Kids 15+ probably can do something. Adults can do something. But there is tremendous political resistance to ANY proposal involving taking initiative. It is unimaginable that the power to act could be tolerated outside the extent of officers-of-the-state.

      There is a great incongruity in the thought process here. Administrators of schools are “officers of the state” and act to suppress anti-social behavior (e.g., wearing a t-shirt expressing support for the right to life or the right to arms). Yet, these same “officers of the state” must not be empowered to protect kids from physical threats (whether from gunmen or bullies).

      Teachers and custodians are subordinate to administrators. They have subordinate power to suppress anti-social behavior (t-shirts, etc.) and zero power to protect kids from physical threats.

      Recognizing this incongruity of power (cognitive dissonance) is probably the first difficulty to overcome.

      • Taking cover under desks was intended to mitigate injury from falling ceiling tiles and small objects. Some effective capability. Same for “tenting” a book on head as a halfassed bump helmet. No intend to address any radiation hazard. Protection from fallout requires sheltering in appropriate location after the shock wave has passed.

      • Hiding under a desk wasn’t meant to keep people safe from radiation.

        When you look at what is known about how an atomic explosion works you find that because the radiation drops off as the square of the distance a largish atomic bomb will dose people who are not behind significant cover with a lethal amount of radiation out to about 4.7km while the pressure wave is enough to significantly damage buildings (due to the way buildings are constructed primarily) out to 47km across flat level terrain (1psi wave) and level those buildings out to 17km (5psi wave).

        So, in theory, you could be anywhere between 5km and 47km from the blast, not be poisoned but still die almost immediately due to falling debris. That’s why they used the “duck and cover” drills.

        Now, there are no cities that large in an area with that kind of terrain, at least not that I know of, however the point remains that you can be outside the range to receive radiation poisoning or even a significant dose of radiation, well outside that range in in fact, and still be in a place where shit’s going to fall from the ceiling or the building is going to come down. So hiding under a desk or in a doorway makes sense since you’d have time to know that pressure wave was coming and take action, in suburban areas surrounding a city that was nuked this would probably save a lot of lives when buildings were damaged but the initial dose of radiation wasn’t enough to kill (and with some barriers probably not enough to even give them radiation syndrome). Now you have to worry about the radioactive aftereffects, but that’s a problem you only have because you didn’t die in the initial blast wave.

        The blast wave is lethal far more distance from ground zero than the radiation is. So long as you leave the area pretty quick after the *pop*, of course to leave you have to be alive and not killed by falling shit.

        • Oh, boosht. I dived under desks in the D.C. area in the 1950s, nobody ever told me why since I was preteen. The ideas of radiation exposure are real fine except nobody knew anything about radiation exposure for years afterward. The only actual benefit, if an attack had happened, would have been protection from blindness, which would happen FAR more distant than blast or radiation, and instantly. If you were under a desk for .001 seconds, you would not be blind for life. But that was decidedly NOT the intent, since nobody knew that, either.

        • They knew that a bunch of people in places that didn’t receive a lethal radiation dose died due to collapses of structures in Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

          So yeah, they had a decent idea that it could happen. The did tests on buildings with both prior and later nuclear testing and with radiation monitors set up to monitor both the blast and the fallout later on too. Much of this was known by 1950. In fact, a surprising amount of this kind of data was discovered by the Trinity test.

          That data was further correlated with data gleaned from the use of atomic weapons on Japan and then further still with data from the death of Manhattan Project researcher Harry Daghlian in August 1945 (a few weeks after the bombs fell) and yet more data later with the “Demon Core” incident in May 1946 that killed Louis Slotin and exposed a number of other people to doses of ionizing radiation.

          That data was subsequently correlated even further years later with deaths of other people who had been exposed to lower doses than Slotin.

          Doses varied between 1000 rads of neutron radiation combined with 114 rads gamma down to 7 rads of neutron and 2 rad gamma. Problems encountered later involved anything from acute radiation sickness causing permanent neurological problems to acute radiation sickness that was recovered from all the way down to cancers 30 years later and even nothing at all.

          So no, it’s not bullshit. It was studied rather a lot both intentionally and unintentionally. The major thing that’s going to kill people is blast damage and falling debris, not radiation. This was known by 1946.

          You can choose to believe hard science or not, but the government’s policy on this particular issue was driven by hard science which has been backed up time and time again.

      • So when the next shooter comes in with door breachers, then what do you do? The point is, the drills have been created out of fear mongering and all that shooter needs to do is know how to get past those. The only means of stopping the shooter, is killing them. Locking a door won’t do it.

    • “duck and cover” began in the 50’s…when it actually made more sense…and drilling to cope with an unwanted..possibly hostile..intruder is a good idea…that happens more than you might think…

    • I was an grade school student in the late 50’s and early 60’s and had never heard of “Duck & Cover” until the 90’s. We did fire drills every two months but never a nuclear drill, ever.

      Schools should be fitted with electrical locks on all classroom doors that can be activated by the teacher or the school office.
      Persons convicted of conducting an illegal shooting at school should be doused with gasoline and set on fire withing 48 hours of conviction.

  4. Don’t worry folks. The kids will learn about “Authoritarianism.” Especially, in Public School Prison…They get to enjoy “False Flag” anti-rebellion school drills…They Problably be re-educated with re envisioned history books…Learn about the new U.N. handbook of peasent Privileges….(re: guess what amendments aren’t going be there.)

  5. There was an incident a couple of years ago where a guy jumped onto a school full of high school students at a bus stop, threw the driver off and hijacked the bus. As he was driving down the road he noticed that all the kids were on their phones talking and texting. He stopped the bus, grabbed a students bag and proceeded down the aisle to forcibly take their phones. They beat the daylights out of him, and almost killed him.

    • “They beat the daylights out of him, and almost killed him.”

      Oh, well, maybe they’ll finish the job next time.

  6. It’s not security theater, it’s psychological torture. A cruel experiment in manipulation and control, conceived by sociopaths and implemented by authoritarian idiots.

  7. “Yet in schools, we have decided that terrifying our kids is OK.”

    That, right there, tells the tale. Children are being raised to believe that life is fun, happy, safe, free of harm.

    I remember under-desk drills, lots of them. The entire country was faced with the possibility of nuclear attack, and the drills were designed to accustom children to the conditions of the world around them, provide a minimum of training to seek protective cover in the hope that a school desk would provide better protection than standing in the school yard (WW2 bombings were the model). Obviously, if a school were to be ground zero for a nuke, no amount of cover was likely to benefit. However, in the outer blast zone, some structures survive, and some people were protected by cover.

    The point is the entire nation of children who endured the under-desk drills did not turn out to be psychos, mentally damaged, traumatized into incompetents. But, by the time of the Cuban Crisis, school children (even high schoolers) were so accustomed to freedom from hard times that students were crying in the halls. None of them seem permanently damaged psychologically after the “threat” ended. Students who were military dependents were somewhat bemused, as they understood all the cities in the country were targets, and had accepted that life was full of risk.

    • All the cities, but most especially all the military bases, and we moved from one to another.

      OTOH, where the hell did we hide under desks while the student population was integrated? Certainly not in the DC area. That picture is suspect.

      • “All the cities, but most especially all the military bases, and we moved from one to another.”

        The disruptions of military life on children isn’t on social justice radar just yet. Waiting for someone to declare multiple moves for children are some sort of unbearable mental trauma.

    • the mood during the CMC was one of stoic acceptance….if and when it happened…and you lived in the eastern US…you expected to die…I know I did….

      • “the mood during the CMC was one of stoic acceptance…”

        Interesting. Lived in the south during the events; two states, two high schools. The mood was great fear and anguish. In the south. I was embarrassed.

  8. My goodness those Orchard Orioles are pretty. I think they are more stunning then a Baltimore Oriole., , , , Skools out for the summer.

  9. Good thread and comments!
    Did my share of duck and cover.
    Us boys always thought it was important , because they always mentioned tornadoes to us and even had designated jobs for us in the class room, like tipping long table over and pushing them up against the door or windows, etc. Later on, some of us got so conditioned to it that during exit drills to the gym or outside, fire, etc. We would disappear and play hooky, go fishing or play baseball and say we misunderstood and thought we were supposed to go home. In the early 70’s, the school even sent a couple of cops over to our house, as I was just heading out with my bat and glove, turned around, ran and hid under my folks bed with moms terrier while the phone kept ringing and they hollered at the house for me to come out on the blow horn, no shit, true story. Then they left and my folks and siblings came home at the regular time and I expected to get the rubber hose beating of my life and to my surprise? They were completely unaware of everything. They just assumed I walked home by myself or with a buddy as usual, being I wasn’t there when they picked the rest of them up. I had up my game after that.
    No more cops.. lol

      • That’s the truth and glad you made out alive!
        Most people have never felt 200 mph winds shaking your house and ripping shingles and boards off the roof and the violent screaming of the wind.
        Spring storms average 70mph and that’s wild.
        Always watch for the eerie stillness that happens just before a bad storm hits and run for cover while you have time and forget everything else. I shut down a tractor, jumped off and left it sitting more than once.
        Sometimes it’s baseball size hail. A local farmer, after getting to safety, decided he had time to run back out to park his tractor inside his metal building and the tractor ended up parking itself on him, doa.
        These fellas have boatloads of insurance, so I can never understand it when this happens.


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