A Dangerous Game for Schools to Play

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October 15, 2006|11:52 pm

Students in a suburban Fort Worth, Texas, school district are being taught to fight back if a gunman invades the classroom, rushing them and hitting them with everything they’ve 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.

Browne told The Associated Press last week that the school system in the 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.

Hopefully it will be the only one.

Certainly, after the most recent series of school shootings, schools across the nation have every reason to prepare against such events on their campuses. But to purposely draw our youth into the line of fire is beyond reason. If police officers were to implement such policies – rushing hostage-takers full-force without negotiation – there would be an uproar. Why? Because what else would more provoke a gunman to pull the trigger on innocent lives?

Understandably since the infamous Sept. 11 attacks, flight attendants and passengers onboard aircrafts are now encouraged to rush the cockpit in the case of a hijacking. Instructing students not to comply with a gunman's orders and to take him down, however, is like rehearsing for America’s next school tragedy.

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Just as the goal of the police force is to keep everyone safe in hostage situations, the goal of the school should be the same. Complying with a gunman’s order does not lead to certain doom – as could be the case in an airplane hijacking. Attacking a gunman, however, is like playing Russian roulette.

Schools need to protect the children. They can’t afford to gamble with their lives.

While in any hostage situation, the outcome is unpredictable, the chances of a no-incident hostage situation are still much higher when left to professionals.

Schools should leave the force to the police and not to the children. They need to trust that the authorities will do everything they can to keep a bad situation from getting worst. But most importantly, they need to trust in God.

 

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