Monday, February 11, 2013

Barricade Kids During Fire Drill? Dumb idea.

A Fargo, ND school has established a post-Newtown knee-jerk hysteria policy of instructing staff that in case of a fire alarm, keep the kids inside. (Story Here) The theory offered is that a potential intruder bent on another massacre could simply pull a fire alarm to lure kids out into the open. Yeah, tin-foil helmets help protect against Martians reading your mind too.

I know it sounds callous, but apparently the short sighted academics have failed to compare the number of dead at the Newtown massacre with the 93 dead at the Chicago Our Lady of Angels fire. The reaction after that fire resulted in carefully established and evolving national standards offering the best ways to alert and evacuate students.

Sometimes school officials -- as demonstrated in Fargo -- react unilaterally without regard to historical precedents or the reality of the world around them. The urge to apply a zero tolerance philosophy to every potential danger is a cop out for those unwilling or unable to properly train or incentivize staff to apply that training or common sense. Instead, a blanket policy or procedure is instituted without regard to other extended consequences.

One can apply this kind of reactionary policy further. What about the fact that school buses are vulnerable as they travel down the street full of kids. What if an intruder targeted them? The knee-jerk reaction would be to paint the buses green. Or make sure the driver changes the route each day to avoid a predictable patten. Or eliminate school buses altogether. Same philosophy, but just as dumb.

Student safety shouldn't be the result of knee-jerks.

NOTE: Link provided above now requires paid subscription. Here's another link on the same school action:

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