Active target practice is something most people outside of the United States have to imagine: a terrible reminder that your life is threatened by someone you see every day and who you need, so be ready for it.
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However, with increasing fear, the preparations become more and more extreme. In some states, active target practice now requires live re-enactment of school shootings, while a handful prohibit them from warning teachers and children of what is happening.
In a country where a school shoots almost every week, this is only reasonably prepared – but sometimes these exercises become so extreme that they are downright traumatic.
0 The school that gave its teachers the "style of execution"
In January 2019, a group of teachers reported a Monticello elementary school was marched into a room at gunpoint and forced to stand on a wall ,
None of them had any idea what was going to happen. They knew that the person who held them up was a policeman and that this was just an exercise – but they did not expect the policeman to shoot every one of them in the back of the head in a few seconds. Style ".
The officer, of course, did not use real bullets – they were only shot with plastic bullets. Nevertheless, they were large enough to leave bruises, draw blood and cause severe pain to teachers.
" It did Hit four times, "said a teacher after the exercise." It hurt so much. "
It was terrifying and painful for the people who were shot – for those who only heard their colleagues' screams, maybe worse Then they watched the group get out silently and bleeding and refused to say a word about what had happened, at the order of the officials.
Then the next group would be called – and they would be lined up and
When the teachers complained, the sheriff's apology made it clear that this was not an isolated case. The practice was "normal," he said; so much that he "couldn't say" how many Leh he had shot his officers in the past.
9 The nurse kidnapped at Gunpoint
A staff member in a Colorado nursing home had no idea that her company was planning an active shootout when a man entered the building, held a gun to his head, and forced her into an empty room.
Your company hadn't told anyone that an exercise would take place that day – or at least nobody in the business. The only people who notified them were the 9-1-1 operators who had been instructed to ignore all calls from the building.
The woman who was imprisoned in an empty room with an armed gunman was more than a little fearful. She burst into tears and began to beg for her life. She was so hysterical with fear that she did not believe him when the shooter told her that he was a police officer and that it was an exercise. She just kept begging and begging him to let her live.
When they let her out of the room, nobody apologized. Instead, the man who had just threatened her life criticized her colleagues for "not putting up enough resistance" and was then ordered to go back to work.
For her merit, she took her advice to heart. The nurse fought back then with certainty – by leaving work, never coming back and filing a lawsuit.
8 Schools in which real children are armed with artificial blood
In Lincoln County, Missouri, active archery exercises do not stop using artificial weapons. They bring in fake victims.
In 2014, NBC persecuted a group of students who accompanied active shooting coaches from school to school and pretended to be their victims in order to "increase teacher realism". ,
Covered with artificial blood and bullet holes, they either lay on the floor pretending to be dead or beat a teacher door and shouted that an armed man would come to get them and asked them to let them in.
It is a practice that at least one expert described as "senseless [and] traumatizing" – both for the teachers and for the actors.
While NBC reporters were watching, a teacher struggled with the pain of hearing a young girl outside, begging her door for her life and knowing that she couldn't let her in. "It hurt my heart," said the teacher.
But the actors were just as traumatized. One trembled and cried when the activity was over. Another told reporters that she "didn't even have to pretend to be afraid." Instead, she said, "I had to keep reminding myself:" This is not real, it is not real. "
It's all pretty horrible – but they're hardly the only school that does it. In fact, Earl Warren Junior High School in Los Angeles sent actors during school hours in 2014 and didn't even bother anyone to say that it was just an exercise, they only made the children panic.
7 The school that gaps their teachers.
In 2013, Linda McLean, a primary school teacher from Pine Eagle, worked , alone in her classroom, when the door opened and a man with a mask marched in, pistol in hand, raised it to her, pulled the trigger and said, "You are dead."
The man was an actor, and the gun was filled with gaps – but McLean didn't know. She just knew that somehow she was miraculously still alive and an armed masked man was now running into the aisles.
Apparently he was admitting his gun because McLean says she was thinking about chasing him and throwing him down or trying to get the kids out of school. However, when she saw children in the hallway, her urge to maintain began and she began to hide them.
Throughout the school, the other teachers were as panicked as they were. One broke his shoulder to escape while another was so startled that she wet herself.
And again, when it was over, nobody apologized. Instead, the headmaster arranged the faculty in a row and gave everyone a red dot for each time they were "shot".
6 The alarm test that called a police
In July 2019 The workers at the AT&T building received an SMS on their cell phones. There are "ongoing police activities" in the building and they have to seek protection to protect their lives.
There is no real danger. The text was just a test for a building's alarm system, but whoever sent it forgot to tell someone it wasn't real – including the police.
Soon a massive police force swarmed out of the building and people panicked. Some barricaded themselves in conference rooms, others hid under their desks. A group of about 30 people huddled in a closet.
When they sent their last messages to their relatives, the police spent an hour walking from floor to floor, clearing every room, and escorting people out of the building.
"When we came down, rifles were aimed at us," one worker told the media. "We didn't know what was going on."
"It was chaos," agreed another. "Someone could have had a heart attack."
5 The kindergarten that traumatized a 5-year-old
Not every school waits until the kids are in high school to do active target practice. At least one preschool in Tucson, Arizona begins teaching children three years of age.
This story made the news when a child showed signs of PTSD in kindergarten. The Pottinger family reports that their five-year-old son, who is attending kindergarten, has started to practice active target practice at home. He crouched behind the furniture and tried what he would do if a shooter broke in.
But it wasn't just fun and games. When the boy heard fireworks for the first time, he started crying and shouting, "Active shooter!"
He was so afraid of the idea that someone might come to his school and murder him, that he would refuse to go anywhere alone – even the bathroom. He would tell his parents if they even left him alone for a second: "The lock will hit me."
"This is his childhood and it should be carefree," says his mother. "But that's not it."
4 The drill that triggered citywide panic
In December 2018, phones rang in Altamonte Springs, Florida. Text messages and phone calls came from students at Lake Brantley High School who feared this could be their last living day.
"I heard what sounded like shots," a boy whispered to his grandmother on the phone.
Meanwhile, a mother went to Twitter and asked for help: “Does anyone know or hear what's going on with Lake Brantley HS? The school is in code red and my children write to me that they are hiding in closets. I'm freaking out. "
The school was doing an exercise – but no one knew. The only warning the teachers received was a text message that said," Active shooter reported, "followed by an administrator who told the entire school about the PP System: "This is not an exercise."
"It sounded fearful," says a student. "His voice trembled."
It was enough to make the school hysterical. The teachers barricaded their doors and hid their children in closets while the children in the cafeteria panicked and made their way to the exits.
And outside of school, their parents' phones lit up, filled with messages from children who thought they were it shortly before death.
3 Army exercise in a SWAT team
In August 2018, a soldier injured himself at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base while jogging and accidentally detached a number from events would end up with a SWAT team storming the base.
The injured man called for help and was taken to the medical treatment facility at the base, where – without his knowledge – the medical team carried out a mass accident exercise. He rolled over next to a swarm of actors who only pretended to be hurt, and at least for a while the doctors thought he could fake it particularly well.
When a doctor found that this patient was indeed injured, he looked out the window and saw something terrible: a swarm of military men running for their lives with bleeding bodies that looked like dead bodies that they laid in the ground were.
What this doctor did not know was that on the other side of the base there was an active shooter drill with actors who played the victims. And so he panicked and – since the military was already deployed – he put the hospital out of action and called the police.
An entire SWAT team was soon on the base. A policeman fired five shots at the hospital door and knocked them down, and the policemen swarmed with their guns drawn.
It was utter chaos – and it took two hours before anyone understood what was going on and asked the police to give the "all-clear".
2 The State That Left Teachers $ 300,000 in Medical Bills
As crazy as these stories are, they're just the ones that are reported. There is strong evidence that such things happen all the time and just don't get on the news.
An Iowa insurance company came across some of this evidence when they went through their records in 2014 and found that this had been the case in the past two years. Years alone, they had paid out more than $ 300,000 for active targeting practice.
Emergency room admissions for Iowa School staff injured in shooting bills had cost them $ 300,000 in less than 24 months. At least 25 teachers were injured during these exercises – more than one injury per month.
"We have injuries from walking, tackling, tackling, bumping against door posts, jumping off furniture," says Jerry Loughry. Corporate Security & Safety Manager at EMC Insurance Companies.
Loughry's company filed a lawsuit to force schools to change their approach – but it is unclear how many of these violations will occur across the country. This is just one company in a state that has taken the time to review its books. The numbers could be as bad – or even worse – in the rest of the country.
1 The shooter exercise that Nicholas Cruz taught to kill
As dangerous and disturbing as these exercises may be, it may still be worth it if they work – but in at least one case, these exercises have actually made the situation worse ,
The problem with school shooting training is that in the case of school shooting, someone is likely to be in the training session doing this.
That was certainly the case for Nikolas Cruz, who shot a Parkland-Marjory-Stoneman-Douglas high school in February 2018. He had participated in his school's active target practice, and he knew that people who lock themselves up as soon as shots were fired in their classrooms. But he also knew that when people heard the fire drill, they would go out and go outside.
Before he started his massacre, he waited five minutes before he was released and triggered the fire alarm. He knew that if he did, the fire alarm and the dismissal alarm would all go off at the same time as the red code, and that many students would have no idea what to do.
Cruz killed 17 people. It was one of the worst shootings in American history.
"There is no evidence that [live shooter drills] works," says criminologist James Alan Fox. "It would be just as effective if you told the children what happened in the case of an active shooter …
" Safety videos on airplanes do not mean that passengers are actually trying to evacuate. "