Par­ents question whether shoot­ing drills trau­ma­tize kids

The Record (Troy, NY) - - WEATHER -

BUF­FALO, N.Y. >> Long be­fore an ex-stu­dent opened fire on his for­mer class­mates in Park­land, Florida, many school dis­tricts con­ducted reg­u­lar shoot­ing drills — ex­er­cises that some­times in­cluded sim­u­lated gun­fire and blood and of­ten hap­pened with no warn­ing that the at­tack wasn’t real.

The drills be­gan tak­ing shape af­ter the Columbine High School shoot­ing in 1999. But 20 years later, par­ents are in­creas­ingly ques­tion­ing el­e­ments of the prac­tice, in­clud­ing whether the drills trau­ma­tize kids.

The back­lash un­der­lines the chal­lenges ad­min­is­tra­tors face in de­cid­ing how far to go in the name of pre­pared­ness.

Thirty-nine states re­quire lock­down, ac­tive-shooter or sim­i­lar safety drills.

But even as the drills be­come rou­tine for many of the na­tion’s 51 mil­lion el­e­men­tary and sec­ondary pub­lic school stu­dents, there is no con­sen­sus on how they should be con­ducted, ex­perts said.

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