Mock gun attack scares students
'I thought I was going to die. We flipped out'
Mon, May 14, 2007
|MURFREESBORO, Tenn. -- Staff members of an
elementary school staged a fictitious gun attack on students
during a class trip, telling them it was not a drill as the
children cried and hid under tables.
The mock attack Thursday was intended as a learning
experience and lasted five minutes during the week-long trip
to a Tennessee state park, said Scales Elementary School
Assistant Principal Don Bartch, who led the trip.
"We got together and discussed what we would have done in
a real situation," he said.
But parents of the sixth-grade students were outraged.
"The children were in that room in the dark, begging for
their lives, because they thought there was someone with a
gun after them," said Brandy Cole, whose son went on the
|Some parents said they were upset by the
staff's poor judgment in light of the April 16 shootings at
Virginia Tech that left 33 students and professors dead,
including the gunman.
During the last night of the trip, staff members
persuaded the 69 students that there was a gunman on the
loose. They were told to lie on the floor or hide underneath
tables and stay quiet. A teacher, disguised in a hooded
sweat shirt, even pulled on locked door.
After the lights went out, about 20 kids started to cry,
11-year-old Shay Naylor said. "I was like, 'Oh my God,' "
she said. "At first I thought I was going to die. We flipped
Principal Catherine Stephens declined to say whether the
staff members involved would face disciplinary action, but
said the situation "involved poor judgment."