Young Assailants Who Grew Up Participating In Active-Shooter Drills Know What To Expect When Striking

·3 min read

Generation Z referred to as the “School Shooting Generation” in a 2018 Spokesman-Review article, grew up with drills and protocol on what to do if a firearms incident were to unfold on campus.

While this is done to save students’ lives, how effective can these drills be when the active shooter is in the know?

According to The Washington Post, most school shootings are carried out by people under the age of 20, with the median age being 16 years old.

With school shooters typically being on the younger side, recent attention has begun being paid to how active-shooter drills can backfire by equipping assailants with the knowledge of what to expect when attacking.

“They already know how the drills work, and they know exactly what students are going to do in this situation,” Peren Tiemann, an activist for Students Demand Action, said in a statement to Insider. “We don’t need repetitive, traumatic training in order to tell us to lock our classroom doors and stay inside.”

Dr. Nancy Rappaport, a child and adolescent psychiatrist, added that these drills allow shooters to gain “information from the inside.”

Arnulfo Reyes, a teacher who survived the Robb Elementary School shooting in Uvalde, Texas, also spoke on the subject during an appearance on Good Morning America earlier this month, noting that the active-shooter protocol left the students sitting and waiting “like ducks,” resulting in his entire 4th-grade class being massacred.

“It all happened too fast,” said Reyes, who sustained two gunshot wounds in the incident. “Training, no training, all kinds of training — nothing gets you ready for this.”

“We trained our kids to sit under the table, and that’s what I thought at the time. But we set them up to be like ducks,” he continued. “You can give us all the training you want, but laws have to change.”

Aside from the inefficiency of active-shooter drills, which are now required in the vast majority of states, experts also spoke on the trauma that these can impact students.

“The only thing these drills are doing to children is capitalizing on fear,” Dr. Rappaport said. “It is absolute lunacy to think you can train children to defend themselves against someone with a semi-automatic gun.”

“The children are terrified. Some cry, they get very close, crawl on my lap, squeeze my arms and legs while I try not to show fear,” Laurie Evans, a New Jersey teacher, said of the drills.

“Even though it’s a drill, they are traumatizing,” she continued. “Even though it’s just a drill, the fear and anxiety [are] real.”

What do you think about active-shooter drills, and how do you think the subject should be approached?