National teacher’s unions call for an end to active shooter drills

Harrisburg

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — Two of the nation’s largest teacher’s unions are calling for an end to active shooter drills in schools.

Not every active shooter drill involves students directly, but it’s the ones that do that have The American Federation of Teachers and the National Education Association concerned.

They’re worried about traumatizing effects and long term student development, but another important skill students need to ace is preparedness.

“We prepare for the worst and we pray for the best,” said Cpl. Josh Hammer.

Part of that prepping means stripping away the “victim mentality.”

“If somebody does freeze, you know, that can make them obviously a target or a victim, and that’s what we’re trying to get rid of,” Hammer said.

That will make room for more situational awareness, so people know their options.

Hammer said simulations with faux shooters aren’t always the right option, but one message is universal for the training: you don’t need to become a statistic.

“This anxiety, if it does ever happen, maybe they’re a little more comfortable with it, then they can work through it,” Hammer said

Hammer works “through it” with Sen. Mike Regan’s project — Protect Pennsylvania Schools, which coaches kids through dealing with a variety of scenarios, including active shooters.

“So active shooter is obviously, on a scale of 1-10 a 10, but we want to give people, ‘what about one?'” Hammer asked.

Still, teacher’s unions worry that more harm than good is being done with the training, despite an increase in mass shootings over the years.

Hammer sees his training as life-saving.

“We have a lot of people telling us that they feel better after the training. We get positive feedback about it, and ultimately, this training could save lives,” Hammer said.

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