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Instructing school kids to fight back against gunmen

Discussion in 'Legal' started by DKSuddeth, Oct 13, 2006.

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  1. DKSuddeth

    DKSuddeth Member

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    wow, just wow.

    Texas school instructs kids to fight back with everything they've got.

    BURLESON, Texas - Youngsters in a suburban Fort Worth school district are being taught not to sit there like good boys and girls with their hands folded if a gunman invades the classroom, but to rush him and hit him with everything they got — books, pencils, legs and arms.

    "Getting under desks and praying for rescue from professionals is not a recipe for success," said Robin Browne, a major in the British Army reserve and an instructor for Response Options, the company providing the training to the Burleson schools.

    That kind of fight-back advice is all but unheard of among schools, and some fear it will get children killed.

    But school officials in Burleson said they are drawing on the lessons learned from a string of disasters such as Columbine in 1999 and the Amish schoolhouse attack in Pennsylvania last week.

    The school system in this working-class suburb of about 26,000 is believed to be the first in the nation to train all its teachers and students to fight back, Browne said.

    At Burleson — which has 10 schools and about 8,500 students — the training covers various emergencies, such as tornadoes, fires and situations where first aid is required. Among the lessons: Use a belt as a sling for broken bones, and shoelaces make good tourniquets.

    Students are also instructed not to comply with a gunman's orders, and to take him down.

    Browne recommends students and teachers "react immediately to the sight of a gun by picking up anything and everything and throwing it at the head and body of the attacker and making as much noise as possible. Go toward him as fast as we can and bring them down."

    Response Options trains students and teachers to "lock onto the attacker's limbs and use their body weight," Browne said. Everyday classroom objects, such as paperbacks and pencils, can become weapons.

    "We show them they can win," he said. "The fact that someone walks into a classroom with a gun does not make them a god. Five or six seventh-grade kids and a 95-pound art teacher can basically challenge, bring down and immobilize a 200-pound man with a gun."

    The fight-back training parallels the change in thinking that has occurred since Sept. 11, when United Flight 93 made it clear that the usual advice during a hijacking — Don't try to be a hero, and no one will get hurt — no longer holds. Flight attendants and passengers are now encouraged to rush the cockpit.

    Similarly, women and youngsters are often told by safety experts to kick, scream and claw they way out during a rape attempt or a child-snatching.

    In 1998 in Oregon, a 17-year-old high school wrestling star with a bullet in his chest stopped a rampage by tackling a teenager who had opened fire in the cafeteria. The gunman killed two students, as well as his parents, and 22 other were wounded.

    Hilda Quiroz of the National School Safety Center, a nonprofit advocacy group in California, said she knows of no other school system in the country that is offering fight-back training, and found the strategy at Burleson troubling.

    "If kids are saved, then this is the most wonderful thing in the world. If kids are killed, people are going to wonder who's to blame," she said. "How much common sense will a student have in a time of panic?"

    Terry Grisham, spokesman for the Tarrant County Sheriff's Department, said he, too, had concerns, though he had not seen details of the program.

    "You're telling kids to do what a tactical officer is trained to do, and they have a lot of guns and ballistic shields," he said. "If my school was teaching that, I'd be upset, frankly."

    Some students said they appreciate the training.

    "It's harder to hit a moving target than a target that is standing still," said 14-year-old Jessica Justice, who received the training over the summer during freshman orientation at Burleson High.

    William Lassiter, manager of the North Carolina-based Center for Prevention of School Violence, said past attacks indicate that fighting back, at least by teachers and staff, has its merits.

    "At Columbine, teachers told students to get down and get on the floors, and gunmen went around and shot people on the floors," Lassiter said. "I know this sounds chaotic and I know it doesn't sound like a great solution, but it's better than leaving them there to get shot."

    Lassiter questioned, however, whether students should be included in the fight-back training: "That's going to scare the you-know-what out of them."

    Most of the freshman class at Burleson's high school underwent instruction during orientation, and eventually all Burleson students will receive some training, even the elementary school children.

    "We want them to know if Miss Valley says to run out of the room screaming, that is exactly what they need to do," said Jeanie Gilbert, district director of emergency management. She said students and teachers should have "a fighting chance in every situation."

    "It's terribly sad that when I get up in the morning that I have to wonder what may happen today either in our area or in the nation," Gilbert said. "Something that happens in Pennsylvania has that ripple effect across the country."

    Burleson High Principal Paul Cash said he has received no complaints from parents about the training. Stacy Vaughn, the president of the Parent-Teacher Organization at Norwood Elementary in Burleson, supports the program.

    "I feel like our kids should be armed with the information that these types of possibilities exist," Vaughn said.
     
  2. dasmi

    dasmi Member

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    Good.
    Let's stop teaching kids to be sheep. Sheep who get shot while cowering on the floor of their classroom.
     
  3. ArmedBear

    ArmedBear Member

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    You know, the only argument I've really heard against arming teachers, except that many teachers can't be trusted with a gun, is that it makes schools into armed camps and instills mortal fear into little kids.

    I don't agree with the argument. I went to a libertarian private school, and the principal was UDT alumni; to this day, I'm pretty sure he was armed. Never bothered me any.

    Be that as it may, though, if you're going to get kids all riled up about being gunned down in the classroom, doesn't it make them feel BETTER if they know the teacher has a gun?
     
  4. Abby

    Abby Member

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    I love this idea. We need to start rebuilding a culture of self-sufficiency. Of course there are armed professionals who are best suited to deal with the shooter-in-a-school scenario. But in the absence of these folks, or before they show up, laying down on the floor and waiting to die is NOT the proper response.

    If I were living in mountain lion country, at some point I'd explain that when attacked by a mountain lion, one had better FIGHT BACK. Passive acceptance of life-threatening violence from any source is not a good way to live.
     
  5. Rev. DeadCorpse

    Rev. DeadCorpse Member

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    Good. Pacifism will get you killed. If not by one group, then by another.
     
  6. Henry Bowman

    Henry Bowman Senior Member

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    It is so :D that the discussion is finally turned to a sensible response. May those who gave their lives as a result of victimization policies not have been in vain.
     
  7. jerkyman45

    jerkyman45 Member

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    I like it, I'm a senior in high school and after the recent events our school put in place some security measures, but none are any good. Our "Lockdowns" are where every teacher turns off the light in the class, locks the door, and instructs everyone to hide in the corner. A simple flimsy indoor lock will not stop a gunman intent on doing us harm, and once he is in the classroom everyone is in a group to make his day of killing a little easier on him. In some areas even if you lock the door, you're still in line of sight of the hallway, and glass does not stop bullets. I wish we had a better plan, and this seems a lot smarter to me.
     
  8. dasmi

    dasmi Member

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    So basically they put you in a tighter, easier to shoot group. How nice.
     
  9. bigun15

    bigun15 Member

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    I like it too. If someone busts into my English class, I don't want everyone running to the far corner of the room hoping someone else will get shot instead of themselves. Yeah some kids will probably die if they all rush. Some kids will die if they don't. The question isn't is someone going to die, it's how many.
     
  10. TallPine

    TallPine Member

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    Interesting to see that what I suggested in another thread is actually being implemented somewhere ;)


    There's a big problem with this plan, though ... if you start letting kids think that they can actually defend and take care of themselves, imagine what kind of adults they might grow up to be...?;)

    Imagine voters who think individuals have a right of self defense, and think that the almight government cannot take care of all their needs cradle to grave ....:eek: :p
     
  11. The Deer Hunter

    The Deer Hunter Member

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    Howcome it takes this long for them to figure out?
    Fighting back always made more sense to me.
     
  12. jak

    jak Member

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    jerkyman45: Yup, basically thats the plan at my school too. Cower in the corner and be quiet. I've always thought that maybe barricading the doors or something might help, or at least covering the windows so they can't see in the door. I figure that even if a shooter gets through the desks piled against the door, he might be preoccupied enough to bonk him with something, or ambush him.

    I like this new plan, I hope it spreads here to Maryland. Chances are rather slim, though.

    BTW, did you know that in the emergency procedures booklet they give to teachers, it has a plan on what to do if an airplane crashes into or near the school? Their plan for if the school gets hit is for students to stay in their seats and await further instruction:banghead:
     
  13. Lonestar

    Lonestar Member

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    In a Highschool this would work well. Most students that age are approaching their peak in physical performance. Teens have less fear of death and dying, and some heavy hormones are racing thru their bodies. Most teens have already seen or been in fistfights, they know what happen with the Amish School shooting and what happened on Flight 93, so they understand what needs to be done.

    Middle school and lower on the other hand...the concept is stupid and will get a lot of kids killed. Even athletic kids who have not reached puberity are weaker than most adults. You can't expect a bunch of 1st, 2nd or 3rd graders to attack an armed man, when half of them are still afraid of the boogyman. Young kids, even in a large group will have a tough time trying to kill an unarmed adult. Even determined kids will freeze up when they see their classmate get killed. They have no concept of killing, death and dying at that age. Just playing around, I can fend off 2 or 3 of my youngsters unarmed. What little kids do well is run. I told my 8yr old after the Amish thing that if a guy with a gun get into your classroom, JUST RUN AWAY and get outside.
     
  14. orangelo

    orangelo member

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    It's better than doing nothing as the recent school shootings and the terrorist attack at Beslan proved.

    There is no such thing as total security. But if you can make yourself or your property such a hassle to victimize that the perp goes looking elsewhere for an easier target you've won. That's what security and threat management is all about.
     
  15. qlajlu

    qlajlu Member

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  16. romma

    romma Member

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    This could be a nice formula for other school districts if it works well. I say if it does,,, McDonaldize it!
     
  17. kludge

    kludge Member

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    I'll take that bet. Twenty maybe, but a bunch of them are going to get hurt real bad. "Immobilize" would still be very difficult.

    A gang of high-schoolers would be a different story, but the challengers would have to be dead set on the goal in mind and willing to use an extreme level of force.

    Good premise though, I teach my little kids (five of them 9yrs to 0yrs) as soon as they can understand to fight, kick, hit, scream, and bite. When faced with a real situation, who knows how they will react.
     
  18. TallPine

    TallPine Member

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    What always amazes me are the mass shootings where the gunman runs out of ammo, and stops and reloads while nobody does anything :rolleyes:


    I dunno, maybe they could just arm the grade schoolers with cans of silly string and they could spray it all over the bad guy's face so he can't see :D
     
  19. longeyes

    longeyes member

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    Hmmm. Let's see, from one liberal fantasy--schools are safe places where no one can get hurt--to another--you don't need adults with weapons to combat evildoers. No, instead of armed and trained teachers and security personnel let's have little kids rush the big bad psycho and disarm him. Can it be done? Anything's possible, but I tend to think that the brave kids just might be deterred after two or three of the bravest are laid low by the first shots and the rest have the bejesus scared out of them by the report alone.
     
  20. SaintofKillers

    SaintofKillers Member

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    Doing something is better than doing what they are at this point. Even for small children.

    What most of these psychos want is to feel in control of the situation. A room full of screaming, running 10 year olds isnt exactly under control.

    Cowering in the corner is being under control.
     
  21. Geronimo45

    Geronimo45 Member

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    Kids are going to get shot anyway, in a case like this. At least they'll know what to do - if they decide to do it.
     
  22. Standing Wolf

    Standing Wolf Member in memoriam

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    Oh, how terrible! Armed children!
     
  23. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Member

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    In 1974 or 1975 at the bank on the Subic Bay Naval Station, Republic of Philippines, a gunman held the place up and ended up taking hostages when the bank was surrounded by the Provost Marshal's troops. Everything was going fairly well. The robber was making demands for safe passage, etc., from the base. Then, he made a fatal mistake. He said if his demands weren't met, he was going to kill a pregnant woman.

    The rest of the hostages thought he was going too far. They rushed him, disarmed him, and beat him to death.

    Pilgrim
     
  24. qlajlu

    qlajlu Member

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    I hope I misunderstand the meaning behind this statement. Other than that, this statement is just wrong! Jokingly or otherwise. :fire:

    Kids growing up in my father's time took firearms to school hoping to catch (read, "kill") a cottontail or sage grouse on the way home. Give kids some credit for being responsible. Of course that comes from the type of household where the child grows up, but this thread is not about that.
     
  25. gezzer

    gezzer Member

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    About time. whenever you do not fight back you have lost.
     
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