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US Teachers Unions Call For End To Unannounced Active Shooter Drills At Schools

16:10  14 february  2020
16:10  14 february  2020 Source:   msn.com

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Two of the nation's largest teachers unions are calling for an end to unannounced active shooter drills at schools ; CBSN New York's Ali Bauman reports.

Major teacher unions call for schools to stop 'psychologically distressing' active shooter drills . The two largest teacher unions in the nation on Tuesday called for an end to unannounced active shooter drills and life-like simulations.

HACKENSACK, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — Two of the nation’s largest teachers unions are calling for an end to unannounced active shooter drills at schools.

a group of people in a room© Provided by CBS New York

They say the drills can cause more harm than good.

“Everyone hides in the corner and they just turn out the lights and close the windows,” freshman Gianna Cristodaro said. “Someone started crying once, so they were really scared.”

RELATED STORY: Many Parents Outraged Over Unannounced Active Shooter Drills In Schools

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The two largest teachers unions in the U.S. have called for the end to unannounced active Advertisement The groups also said there are better ways to prepare for the possibility of a school “Everywhere I travel, I hear from parents and educators about active shooter drills terrifying students

The nation's two largest teachers ' unions want schools to revise or eliminate active shooter drills , asserting Tuesday that they can harm students' mental

Active shooter drills have become standard practice at most schools. In New Jersey, schools are required by law to hold at least one lockdown drill a month.

“A lot of people are scared ’cause we don’t know if it’s real or not,” freshman Samantha Kleimy said.

“In the back of your mind, you’re just thinking, what if this is real? What if there’s someone walking around the halls with a gun?” sophomore Michael Mariano said.

How they’re conducted varies by district. Sometimes students are warned it’s just a drill, but often, they’re not, CBSN New York’s Ali Bauman reports.

“You’re rushing to text your parents. You’re like, you never know this might be the last time that you’re talking to your parents and then for it all to just be a drill, you’re like, wow, I really went through all that,” college student Leslie Peterson said.

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The American Federation of Teachers and National Education Association joined with the advocacy group Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund in calling for an end to unannounced drills or drills that simulate gun violence. “Everywhere I travel, I hear from parents and educators about active

Since Columbine, active shooter drills have become an increasingly normalized practice in schools . But now two teachers unions , the American For schools that will continue to implement active shooter drills , Everytown and both of the unions oppose unannounced drills and "all simulations

Watch: How To Talk To Your Children And Prepare For An Active Shooter Emergency —

The American Federation of Teachers and the National Education Association are now joining gun safety advocates in demanding schools disclose to students before every active shooter drill that it is just practice.

“Because we don’t have evidence that those are effective, but what we do know is that it can be very traumatizing to the students,” said Sonni Mun, with Moms Demand Action.

“You have to tell the kids,” parent Jocelyn Verdadero said.

“It’s good not to announce it. That way you know how they’re gonna react. You know exactly how they’re gonna respond and that way you know what you need to work on, what needs to be practiced,” parent Andre Peterson said.

The teachers unions say schools that do continue active shooter drills should make them age-appropriate for each grade and incorporate input from mental health professionals.

Dr. Jodi Gold is a child psychiatrist and believes unannounced drills can often do more harm than good.

“I have a few kids that I’m treating that have school avoidance, which means that they’re fearful to go to school because they’ve been a part of these drills and the drills have been traumatizing,” she said.

Alice Training Institute, which runs active shooter drills, says students should be aware of drills before it starts, but in a statement says, “When done appropriately, drills that simulate an event and allow students to practice their options, […] are the most effective to keep children safe.”

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