Is firing blanks during a school-shooting drill really a good idea?

The Week
Cover your ears! One Illinois school wants to mimic the sound of gunfire as part of a safety drill.

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Cover your ears! One Illinois school wants to mimic the sound of gunfire as part of a safety drill.

A Chicago-area high school believes exposing its students to the sound of gunfire will make them more prepared for a potential shooting

In the wake of the Newtown shootings, school administrators around the country very understandably want to do everything in their power to keep students safe and prepare them for any possible danger. But Cary-Grove High School in Illinois is taking preparedness to a new level with its "code red drill," during which school officials will fire blanks in the hallways while teachers lock students inside classrooms and draw the curtains. A spokesman for Cary-Grove High School says the goal of this week's drill is to "provide our teachers and students some familiarity with the sound of gunfire." Of course, news of this unorthodox and potentially terrifying drill has caused outrage among parents and students alike. 

"They run fire drills all the time, but they don't run up and down the hallway with a flamethrower," Sharon Miller, a parent of a Cary-Grove student told WBBM Newsradio in Chicago. But while the simulation is certainly more extreme than your typical fire drill, the school maintains that being safe rather than sorry is important — even if it ruffles some parental feathers. As Jeff Puma, the director of communications for Community High School District 155, puts it, "If we can save just an additional kid because he hears [a gunshot], or she hears it, and they get into a classroom quicker, that's what we want."

SEE MORE: America's gun-control debate: The dueling protest signs

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