Saturday, October 29, 2011

Rule(d) by fear

I've noticed how fear is a virus, it wants to spread itself to others once it has one organism really under control.
Our friend and reader Laurie wrote:


We have in school what we call "lockdown drills."  Like Firedrills, but practice hiding deep in the classroom in case a terrorist or madman with gun (ala Columbine,  whatever)  comes into the school and starts shooting. Anyway,  we all get into one corner of the room,  and lock the door from the inside until further notice.


Well,  we were doing that,  the teacher was reading the kids a story so as not to scare them,  and about 20 minutes later there was a knock at the classroom door. I got up and looked through the glass window and saw it was the Principal and a rather huge policeman standing there.  I  thought,  "Oh, this is how they must signal the end of lockdown." I opened the door and smiled.


The policeman said to me in a strange tone of voice,  "Are there children in here?" I said,  uh,  yeah..... He then turned to the principal and said,  "Do you want to tell her?"  and then he went into our classroom. The Principal said to me,  "You could have just killed them all." I said,  "huh???"  And she repeated,  You could have just killed them all. I said,  What do you mean????  She said, "You should have known NEVER to open the door to ANYONE. This was a test,  and you didn't pass."


The policeman had gone into our room and said to the 23 huddled kids,  pointing to me,  "THAT was what shouldn't have happened.  Help save kids!." The kids wondered what the heck he was talking about.


I was horrified by how this was handled.  Mortified. Not that  I  made a mistake and didn't know our policy, I admitted that I should have known the policy of not opening doors.... but by the attitude of fear and intimidation in the whole thing. My principal's outrageous comment to me (I used my judgement and saw my Principal and a police officer standing there, how was it I "could have killed them all."?) and the behavior and words of the police officer to the kids, all of whom felt they had done something wrong themselves.


33 comments:

BaronessBlack said...

Well, technically, you shouldn't have anyone involved in a lockdown drill who doesn't know how it ends and what the safety code words are. Either the teacher reading to the children should have come to the door, or you should have been informed before the drill how it would end. But I don't see any point in reading to the children so they wouldn't get distressed, then distressing them anyway!
Our school does lockdown drills, but most parents don't know about them, and the children don't usually twig what's going on, precisely because we don't want to spread fear and upset people unnecessarily!

Kent McManigal said...

Doesn't it seem odd to make it convenient for an "active shooter" by gathering all the kids into nice little locked-in groups?

Timo Lehtinen said...

To be killed in a school shooting must be somewhere around position 170423 in the list of causes of death. It's right there next to "safety tether breaking while on a spacewalk" and "leopard waking prematurely from anesthesia during a health check-up".

Why not prepare the kids for the more probable causes first, like being hit by a falling large-screen TV, or being choked on a piece of carrot? Now those are real dangers!

Steve Weeks said...

I went through these same drills back in the 50's-60's, but there were called 'Bomb Drills". I can't think of an American school that was hit with an A-Bomb.
Now it seems common sense is being overruled by litigation.

Anonymous said...

There's a harsh truth to face and that is it's a terrible thing, to live in fear.

Fear and those who rule by fear are everywhere. We must choose which to follow and which will guide us. True it is not easy and to belong to a "polite society" we all live by rules, regulations, laws and many forms of fear. We cannot completely escape fear, but we can mitigate the harm that it brings.

Yes, fear is a virus, like cancer, it grows and spreads and when that organism is under control (or destroyed) hurt and major harm will be done. Growth for the sake of growth is the specialty of the cancer cell and fear.

Misery loves company and fear brings misery that's how it spreads.

We want things to make sense and when they don't we become anxious (anxiety) and anxiety leads to fear. Fear does more harm than good.

In a school setting one would think the principal and policeman would want a teaching moment, not leaving everyone feeling they had done wrong.

The kids and teacher no doubt had hoped they were doing the drill right, but apparently they were not. That is too bad as hope is a good thing and reenforces good behavior.

Eolake Stobblehouse said...

Well said, all.

I saw some statistics once, and Death by Terrorism was waaay down there, number 192 or such thing.

Anonymous said...

Fear is one of the devil's most powerful tools. Fear often keeps us from doing things that are right and good, things that would improve our life and the lives of others. Yet such fears are usually ungrounded in fact.

I am not talking about the fears that keep us from foolishly fording a fast moving mountain stream, but the fears that make us be less than ourselves

Anonymous said...

Doesn't it seem odd to make it convenient for an "active shooter" by gathering all the kids into nice little locked-in groups?

Careful, Kent, your psychopathy is showing.

Anonymous said...

Well said, all.

Except for Kent - who, despite how he might try, just can't help being astonishingly stupid. Well, he does own a lot of guns. That's a clue right there.

Anonymous said...

There are several words to describe this. Ridiculous, retarded and useless are the first to come to mind.

Instead of wasting time scaring people, maybe, just maybe, we should spend some time looking at the *why*. Why do people randomly decide to shoot everyone in sight. And maye, just maybe, we can have a look at how we can prevent this (gun control, anyone?). Sounds much more useful than telling kids to hide in corners like little chicken shits.

Tad Williams said...

It's happened enough times over long enough and no one has yet managed to figure out why they do it.

Anonymous said...

Continuing my "fear is the devil's tool" comment.

I have a somewhat trivial account of overcoming limiting fears:

Yesterday while drinking a cup of coffee at a McDonalds I was openly admiring a young woman's legs.

Finishing my coffee I walked up to the table she was sharing with her mother and said, "I have to admit I was unashamably admiring your lovely legs while you were standing in line.".

The warm response from her mother was, "She's a cheerleader". I said. "Gorgeous legs and gorgeous young woman". And after getting thank yous and smiles from both the mother and daughter in return I left.

I know there greater challenges than this. But I wanted to share the experience with the DOMAI community, particularity because it concernled a PYW.

P. S. You must seriously consider replacing PYT with PYW. Young women are not, after all, to be regarded as "things".

Anonymous said...

Gun control advocates ignore a lot of very hard and very obvious facts.

1. Most gun crimes are committed by people that are already prohibited from having guns because of criminal convictions.

2. A good number of gun crimes are comitted by people that obtained their guns outside of the normal gun store channels. Gun control laws can't reduce such sales.

4. Comparing the gun control problem to the drug control problem:

a. A gun only has to be obtained one time and one box of 50 cartridges would usually last a criminal through one year of criminal activity if not more. A criminal has a one time expense in acquiring a gun and ammunition. And a one time risk in illegally acquiring a gun

b. A drug addict must continually buy more drugs at a significant and repeating expense. In these transactions he is repeatedly at risk of being apprehended.

But in spite of the huge, expensive efforts of the United States to control drugs these efforts have been futile. They have not made even a dent in the importation, sale and use of drugs in the United States.

Yet as I have clearly shown controlling drugs should be much simpler than controlling guns.

Attempts at gun control are futile and much more futile than the current futile attempts to control drugs.

Kent McManigal said...

Not only that, Anonymous 3:25 AM, but most of these mass killings occur where the victim pool has been "legally" forbidden to possess the tools to defend themselves. Why don't the shootings happen at gun shows? Because no easy victims are to be found there.

Anna said...

Thanks Laurie for sharing the description of these fear-drills.

Baroness, so right!

Kent, true.

My guess is that these drills are made to keep the youngsters in fear. So heaping them up seems a good idea, as fear spreads easier.

Timo, great ! :) Haha...

***

Well, if you haven't, just watch Bowling for Colombine, by Michael Moore. Good explanation of the use of fear to rule a state.

There are studies showing that most kids who did school shootings were either on mood-medication, or withdrawing from it. Those pills are dangerous.

***

Anonymous, sign, otherwise there are so many of you, and no one knows if more people wrote or just one. You don't need to give any mail address or anything, that's optional.

Jim King said...

Because no easy victims are to be found there.

Just a lot of guys with really small dicks.

Jim King said...

Careful, Kent, your psychopathy is showing.

Well said!

Anonymous said...

Of course tighter gun control would reduce these incidents. Are you insane? Tighter gun control = fewer guns. Fewer guns = fewer guns going "missing" and ending up being used illegally. Do you think these people just produce guns in their basements? It's been done, true but not with FN 5-7s or P90s. The fact that there's so damned many of them makes it almost trivial to obtain one illegally. If I break into an average US household, there's a good chance I'll be able to obtain a gun. That simply isn't true in many other countries.

Eolake Stobblehouse said...

There was an interesting point in Bowling For Columbine: in Canada, guns are also extremely common, but the gun violence is way, way less.

Timo Lehtinen said...

An armed nation is a safe nation.

There is ample evidence of this. So much so that anyone arguing the opposite is a troll in my book.

Dave Nielsen said...

An armed nation is a safe nation.

There is ample evidence of this. So much so that anyone arguing the opposite is a troll in my book.


Care to provide us with some of that evidence? It does exist, right? I mean, in amply supply?

There was an interesting point in Bowling For Columbine: in Canada, guns are also extremely common, but the gun violence is way, way less.

I've only been there a couple of times, but I didn't see anyone openly carrying guns which is legal in some places here. That doesn't make me feel safe because, just based on my own personal experience it's the people who are least suited to owning and using them who do own and use them.

Btw, what's the crime like in Denmark? A nation with, I think, very few guns.

Dave Nielsen said...

P.S. To forestall Kent and the like, I'm not so much anti-gun as anti- the people who own them. Just in case that wasn't clear.

Eolake Stobblehouse said...

From my experience, Denmark is quite peaceful, as Scandinavia is generally. Scandinavians tend to have cool, reserved tempers, without the great shows of either enthusiasm or anger.

Anonymous said...

"Just a lot of guys with really small dicks."

LOL

too true

TC [Girl] said...

Straight up: there are certain jobs on this planet that just plain aren't fun and...being a cop is one of 'em...especially when they, now, have to do DRILLS (hint) in a school environment! They aren't thinking about anything but the task at hand; namely, making SURE that the TEACHERS are, now, "combat ready," in the event of a school shooting!

Have any of you even seen how DRILLS work? Ever been to boot camp? They are TRAINING for VERY SERIOUS matters, there; they're not there for a spa weekend!

"True dat" they didn't have the kindest of "bedside manners" BUT...NEITHER would a terrorist! A teacher, is the "ward" of the students in their classroom; they have ALWAYS had to "watch over" their pupils; however, the "bar" for being a teacher in a classroom setting, these days, just got raised, when Columbine- (etc. and terrorists) style shootings started to happen! If measures weren't set in place, the school districts - which, BTW, are already crumbling, DAILY, under the continual erosion of educational funding - would be getting SUED by any and every parent of a shooting victim from here on out, if some sort of protocol wasn't established! Litigation would completely tap out the educational system!

Teachers already have to deal with weapons, drugs, bullying, and gang rivalries...yes, IN the public schools across America...in their classrooms; and are, now, also expected to be ON THE READY in case another student (or other) should go on a shooting spree. It's not a fun thing to have to be expected to be a part of but...it is required; so...if you are squeamish about today's world, I would suggest that you find another occupation! If YOU can't take your job seriously enough, PLEASE step aside and let someone who WILL take the bullet for their students fill your shoes!

It's not about taking any of what was being told you, personally; it was about having YOU realize that you will either be a HELP or a HINDRANCE to, possibly, SAVING SEVERAL LIVES, someday! And...as they say: "if you can't take the heat, get OUT of the kitchen (or...in your case, the classroom!)!!!!!

In a perfect world, firearms would not be needed! Obviously, this place that we all live, is NOT such a place, as of yet, and some people seem to think that they can't live without a weapon and...this argument isn't going to end anytime soon; hence, the "have nots" have to deal w/the ones that "have" and don't know how to control their fear of walking among other weapons owners!

Eolake Stobblehouse said...

Fair enough.

Anonymous said...

Fair enough.

You always say that when you know the person is full of shit but you just want them to stop already.

Nice abuse of punctuation as usual, TC.

Laurie said...

"They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither safety nor liberty."
Benjamin Franklin

Eolake Stobblehouse said...

Yep, one smart dude that.

Anonymous said...

Obviously he had his off days, though. Btw, only the exceptionally stupid let quotations do their thinking for them. Essentially what they're saying is "A big brain like Ben Franklin says this, so it must be right."

Laurie said...

Anonymous, I am mentally quite dull, often, and sometimes it bothers me a lot. I have to be careful not to compare myself to other brighter people. But I was deeply grateful that the Franklin quote came to mind, as it said perfectly what I would have said to TC if I were more clear and less emotionally charged.

Laurie

Laurie said...

p.s. Anonymous, the phrase "exceptionally stupid" is emotionally charged, unoriginal, not mature. Which is too bad, because I hear your boldness and originality struggling to come out, too.
Laurie

Anonymous said...

I feel a lot for anyone who feels so scared on a daily basis that they have to walk around with a gun on their hip. Owning them for things like hunting or target shooting is one thing, even keeping one for protection in the home is not that bad, but to feel you've got to carry it around all the time? If I lived anywhere that felt that unsafe, I'm thinking I'd move.