After Parkland, a push for more school shooting drills

Police officers conduct a mass shooting drill with students at Lincoln Middle School in Alameda, California.

How “active shooter” drills became normal for a generation of American schoolchildren.

Students at thousands of schools across the United States walked out of class Wednesday morning to pressure Congress and state lawmakers to pass gun control laws.

More than 2,500 students had planned to join the National School Walkout out at 10 am in every time zone, according to organizers. They want Congress to expanding background checks to all gun buyers and banning assault-style weapons, such as the AR-15 used in the Feb. 14 shooting that killed 17 high school students in Parkland, Florida.

But so far, the Republican Congress has shown little interest in enacting such provisions. Instead, GOP lawmakers have been more focused on beefing up security at public schools and giving more money for safety training, including mass shooting drills.

On Wednesday afternoon, the House of Representatives is scheduled to vote on the STOP School Violence Act, a bill that doesn’t address guns but provides an annual $50 million grant to schools for training programs and upgraded reporting systems.

The bill would allow schools to use the money for mass shooting drills, which have become common in public schools since the Columbine school massacre. Since the Parkland shooting, a few states have also taken steps to beef up school security. Lawmakers in New York are considering a bill that would require all school emergency drills to include mass shooting scenarios. South Carolina lawmakers are considering a bill to require schools to carry out active-shooter drills every single month. Last week, Florida passed a school safety law that requires schools to conduct mass shooting drills twice a year.

The sad truth is that most public schools in the United States already do some sort of mass shooting drill. Nine out of ten public …read more

Source:: Vox – All

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