Parents question whether shooting drills traumatize kids
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.