April 20, 2014 at 10:03 pm #9958
This article has been contributed by Daisy Luther of The Organic Prepper and author of The Pantry Primer.
There are many alarming trends throughout the American public school system, and one of the most unsettling relates to “terror drills.”
Paul Joseph Watson of Infowars wrote last week about “lockdown drills” run by the DHS:
The Department of Homeland Security is expanding its operations by running unannounced school lockdown drills, another sign of the federal agency’s encroachment into more areas of Americans’ lives.
“On Thursday, March 6, a team comprised of ten officials from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office, and the NJ Department of Education’s Safety and Security Task Forces visited Glen Ridge High School to conduct an unannounced school lock-down drill,” reports Georgette Gilmore…
While authorities justify school lockdown drills as necessary exercises to prepare for potential school shootings, the likelihood of one happening is miniscule. Critics have pointed to the fact that the drills achieve little else than traumatizing school children.
Some have also argued that teaching kids to “shelter in place” rather than evacuate the scene of a shooting is bad advice because it is likely to lead to more casualties. The process of having children submit to armed masked men during school lockdown drills is also contradictory in that it teaches them to behave exactly the same way towards an actual gunman.(source)
But a quick drill with guns pointed at children is not even the worst of the drills being performed. Another type of drill began occurring in 2012. These are called “evacuation drills” or “relocation drills” and the kids are put on a bus and taken to a location that is not disclosed to parents. Michael Snyder wrote:
All over the United States, school children are being taken out of their classrooms, put on buses and sent to “alternate locations” during terror drills…In the years since 9/11 and the Columbine school shootings, there has been a concerted effort to make school emergency drills much more “realistic” and much more intense. Unfortunately, the fact that many of these drills are deeply traumatizing many children does not seem to bother too many people. Do we really need to have “active shooter” drills where men point guns at our kids and fire blanks at them? Do we really need to have “relocation drills” where kids are rapidly herded on to buses and told that they must surrender their cell phones because they will not be allowed to call anyone?
During these drills kids are not allowed to phone their parents and parents are not even allowed to know where their children are in many cases. In some incidences during which the school forewarns parents about the drill, the parents are told that they cannot pick up their children “for any reason” during the drill. Many schools now boast of having supplies to keep children at the school for 48 hours in the event of an “emergency” during which time the children will not be released to their parents.
And it gets even worse. In the name of predictive programming, do you recall a “drill” during which the police took over a school and practiced fighting “angry parents”? I’ve been plenty annoyed at different schools my daughter has attended, but in no way have I been compelled to attack the school, requiring SWAT teams to defend it against me and my band of likewise irate moms.
In fact, there’s only one scenario I can imagine in which parents would storm the school to take back their children. Mac Slavo of SHTFplan wrote about it:
Let’s consider the circumstances that would have to occur for not one, but two or more parents to lay armed siege to a school.
There’s only one real scenario that comes to mind, and you’d more than likely have to be a prepper or conspiracy theorist to even contemplate the possibility.
The schools which our kids attend have “shelter-in-place” emergency procedures that would be enacted in the event of an emergency such as a nuclear, chemical or biological attack. During these emergencies schools are to be locked down with no unofficial access into the buildings until the all-clear has been given. It’s unclear based on district procedures just what the shelter-in-place order means and what steps parents would need to take to get their kids out of school – or whether they could even take their kids out of school based on the emergency.
But basically, it boils down to this: If there is a widespread emergency, and a school locks down and refuses parental access to children, then and only then could we envision a scenario where parents might take it upon themselves to evacuate their children by force.
The ‘event’ in question would likely need to be mass scale, or perceived as mass scale, in order for a parent to be so adamant about getting their child out of the school that they would take to armed violence to get them out.
Is this what police are training for?
Someone, somewhere obviously thinks there is a legitimate reason for this type of training simulation.
So when you put all of this together, it’s easy to see the future. The picture this is painting is that one day, a unilateral decision could be made to put our children on a bus, take them to an undisclosed location, and keep them. (Dave Hodges wrote a chilling article about the role of FEMA in these scenarios – you can read it (http://thecommonsenseshow.com/2013/09/03/where-will-fema-take-your-children/ )
Should you teach your child to escape?
Maybe it’s time to teach your child how to bug out from school.
By no means am I suggesting that this is a legitimate course of action for every child. Some kids are too young or too prone to panic and poor judgement to safely bug out. Some environments are too dangerous for a young person to take off on his or her own. Parents have to consider the skills and mindset of their kids before making plans like this. It can definitely be risky, and you have to compare it to the alternative of having your child herded along.
I have a huge amount of faith in my child. So much so that we have performed some of our own drills. She attends a part-day advanced science program at a school 13 miles from our home. She’s a lot more “aware” of events going on in the world than most of her peers because we discuss things like government encroachment and tyranny on a regular basis. She knows that she is not to get on a bus without my prior knowledge and consent.
If, out of the blue, the teachers just tell students to get on a bus, and there is no compelling reason for them to be doing so, it might be time for your child to use his or her own judgement on whether boarding that conveyance is actually a good idea.
If you feel that a school bug-out plan is a good idea for your child, here are a few things to consider:
If there are younger siblings at the school, your older children will need to plan how to connect with them, and whether or not to abort the bug-out if they can’t connect with the younger ones.
You need to set up a primary and secondary rally point where you’ll meet your kids. This should be within a couple of miles of the school, and it should be a place where your children can stay hidden from the main road. The plan should always be to go to the primary rally point, but if for some reason that is unsafe or unaccessible, there should be a secondary rally point that is reached by a different route.
Figure out the route your child will take to get to the rally point. Practice getting there from the school. If possible, for reasons of safety and stealth, develop a route that does not use the main road to take them there. Hike or walk this route with your child until they are completely comfortable with it.
There are some situations in which evacuation is actually necessary. For example, some places are prone to forest fires and you wouldn’t want your child out on foot in such a scenario. If the school building were to collapse, it’s obvious the children would be relocated to a safe shelter. This is the point at which your child’s judgement comes into play. It is vital to discuss different scenarios in which evacuation is necessary.
It is also important that your child have the proper gear to take off on foot, as well as the ability to use all of it. It’s important to practice things like filtering water in order for a young person to feel confident doing so.
A hiking pack (My daughter keeps this Signpost Outdoor Packable Handy Backpack Foldable Lightweight Travel Bag Daypack – Green in the bottom of her school bag)
Comfortable weather-appropriate footwear (winter boots, sneakers, etc.)
Water filtration bottle (we use THIS ONE from Berkey)
At least one full water bottle, but preferably two
Snacks like granola bars or energy bars (Clif Bars are made with good ingredients and are very filling)
Weather appropriate clothing (snow gear, light hoodie, gloves, hat for sun or warmth)
First aid kit (band-aids are a must forpotential blisters)
Most of the other gear that you’d prefer your child to have is going to be deemed “dangerous” by the school. Things like multi-tools, matches or lighters, or self-defense items are frowned upon and can result in anything from suspension by a “zero-tolerance” school system that seems unable to differentiate between a tool and a threat, to felony charges by the overzealous “justice system.” These are things you must take into consideration when choosing items for the emergency kit, and you have to weigh the pros against the cons.
Will this work for you?
This is not a plan that will work for every family. Only you can judge whether or not your child or teen can keep a cool enough head to execute a similar plan and use their own judgement in a surprise situation. Only you can assess the immediate environment and decide if it is safer for your student to set out on their own or to go with the staff from the school.
Do any of you have a simliar plan for your kids? Please share your suggestions in the comments below.
NOTE: This is not a debate about whether children should be educated at home or via the public school system. This is about a specific situation that affects many families in America who have made the decision to send their children to school based on their own personal circumstances or the availability of special programs.
Prepare for the unknown by studying how others in the past have coped with the unforeseeable and the unpredictable.
George S. PattonApril 20, 2014 at 10:54 pm #9962
I know the above is American, but this pdf is from our school district here in Newfoundland
http://www.nlesd.ca/about/doc/policies/archive/eastern/J_JLI_regs.pdf. It covers only lockdowns. But my daughter has already mentioned the fear of evac that kids have talked about while lockdowns take place.
Prepare for the unknown by studying how others in the past have coped with the unforeseeable and the unpredictable.
George S. PattonApril 21, 2014 at 2:45 am #9989
Wow Gypsy, I just can’t believe this is going on. I do not trust the U.S. Department of Homeland Security with our kids. It is getting out of hand. My son is next year going to high school so I will see what is happening.
I think that this is only happening in public schools. I am sending my son to a private Catholic school. I work hard to pay for it but I do it. I do not have any extra cash to go out to dinner much but to me it is money well spent.April 21, 2014 at 1:44 pm #10037
Some of the stuff from the post are scary.
Depending what age is kid, I would definitely have my own planning and preparing with him in case something big is happen while he is in school.April 21, 2014 at 5:53 pm #10075
This is what Communist do with kids! They will test the grounds to see how fare the people will let them go. They take freedoms slowly like cutting a big tree by hand. In time they have total control.
In Cuba the children in school only learn about Communism, there in no freedom, there is no God, the government is the one that gives you food and only the amount that they let you have so is you talk bad about the government they reduce the amount of food your family gets so everyone in your family gets bad at you for speaking out.
They will have you neighbor spy on you and will give your neighbor more food to tell on you. So you will not trust anyone. In Cuba no one trust no one even your family. They have been able to turn the families into spies on ther families.
The children have grown up in 50 years on Communism were they do not know what is freedom! If you do not know what is freedom you don’t miss it. They do not know what it is to work anymore.
So this is what they are trying to start here but they know it has to be slow, give to the poor free food and slowly end the middle class so you can give them free food. Once they have everyone on the free everything and not have to work then they start to cut back on everything they give for free but it is to late! Many years go by and the people will not know what to do because they didn’t work or studied anything. They have total control! It is call Communism! But it is really a tyranny! They are Dictators!April 21, 2014 at 7:55 pm #10088
Bugs Bunny: "I speak softly, but I carry a big stick."
Yosemite Sam: "Oh yeah? Well I speak LOUD! and I carry a BIGGER stick! and I use it, too!" BAM!April 21, 2014 at 8:34 pm #10090
elijah, I am as conservative as they come! I have never complain for disability pension for an injury in the line of duty. I complain about the free loaders that do not have worked and like to get everything for free from the government. These are people the 1. come in from other countries to get everything free, housing , food and welfare.
If you worked and are collecting SS, Medicare, Disability, you worked and paid into this programs, but there are the free loaders that have never paid a dime of tax and want these programs. The Country can’t take this anymore, we have a debt of 17.6 T and we pay the interest only and we pay it with borrowed money.
All this programs are good and they really help people that need it but like everything that is good there are always people that ruin it for others.April 21, 2014 at 8:51 pm #10091
elijah, Also remember that my parents saw with there own eyes how Castro came to power, it was by promising the poor everything. At the beginning Castro did give all the Elite left Cuba to Miami. What was left was the poor and Castro now has the poor living like the poor in Africa. The poor in Cuba were like the poor in the U. S.
They just wanted more and more so it drove the Elite out. That system doesn’t work. Many of the poor need jobs not hand outs and free food. The Government is going the wrong way by taxing the Corp more! What they need is to give then tax breaks for everyone they give a job. That will work.
Taxing the Elite is no big deal since they have all the money to hire the best accountants and find the way to not pay the higher tax. The Dem and the Rep always do the same, they leave tax lop holes so they do not pay the taxes. The Dem pass higher taxes and the people think that the Elite are getting taxed more , what a joke, they never pay more.
The name of the game is jobs and what incentives do we give them so they do open more jobs.
We had higher Capital Gain Tax from 15 to 35 so has it done anything NO More jobs, It is the wrong way to go.
The Elites just find better ways of doing things.April 22, 2014 at 4:28 am #10132
Gypsy Wanderer Husky,
I would like to politely offer some clarifying information on the topic. I do not mean this as an attack on anyone. I appreciate that we are all very concerned about this type of thing. Kids are our most precious resource and when things like this come out, it can be concerning.
With that said, that article is full of exaggeration, half-truths, and misrepresented facts. All very typical from the source – infowars. Infowars is not a credible source. I would not bother reading it. It is not open source research material and will not lead you to making informed and accurate decisions.
Without going into my background at all (I intend to remain as anonymous as possible) I will say that this is a subject that I have experience with. I am sure that I have not seen everything, , but I am very familiar with what is considered to be common practices nationwide related to the topic of active shooters and lockdown protocol.
First, I lets deal with misconceptions:
DHS or Homeland Security is not some omnipotent mysterious behemoth operating under shadowy pretenses. Simply put, it is a blanket title for about 16 different separate agencies that are grouped together under a governmental umbrella but operate seperately. These include Customs and Border Protection, Immigration, TSA, FEMA, Coast Guard, etc. There is no secret agency called the DHS. It is simply the organizational title umbrella that these other agencies are lumped under for efficiency purposes.
Next, it would be a very odd occurrence for “DHS” to run any active shooter training in a school setting. Why, you ask? Because they would not be the responding authority to that type of situation. Generally, that training is done by local law enforcement only. Since they are responsible for responding to an active shooter in a school first, they are the ones who organize and train on it. Now, the DHS does offer an active shooter instructor training program at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center that some local officers can go and complete and return home to teach their local department. They also provide education resources for responding to an active shooter. You can view them here: http://www.dhs.gov/active-shooter-preparedness .It is good, solid resources and there is nothing sinister to be found.
The only time I could even speculate that DHS would be involved at an actual school is if a school district invited them in to consult on lockdown procedures or view a drill and provide feedback.
Regarding Active Shooter Incidents – There are some things you should understand. The following has been copied and pasted from an article discussing law enforcement gold standards for active shooter training.
Factors Involved in Mitigating Active Shooter Incidents
There are 3 different factors that contribute to active shooter threat mitigation. They are police response effectiveness, limiting the target availability of the shooter, and early identification.
Police response includes the speed at which the officers can respond to the scene, the efficiency that the officers have in locating and resolving the immediate threat, efficiency of handling the scene after the initial threat has been eliminated. It also includes the ability of dispatch to handle incoming information, sift it appropriately, and relay it to patrol in a concise manner that encourages logical resource flow to the event.
Limiting the target availability of the shooter is best addressed through the use of school lockdown procedures and access denial techniques.
Early identification includes both scanning/discriminating individuals on the campus and being observant of behavior warning signs exhibited by students or staff.
We can never fully eliminate the chances that an active shooter event will occur. What we can do is reduce their opportunity to occur and lessen the impact if they do.
Understanding the Law Enforcement Response Priorities
When discussing an active shooter program, before anything else, everyone involved needs a clear understanding of what the law enforcement response priorities are. They are as follows:
1. Eliminate the threat.
2. Secure the area.
3. Handle live-saving emergency medical situations.
4. Orderly Evacuation of the injured from the area.
5. Orderly Evacuation of the area by non-injured.
6. Scene Management
Handling the situation in this specific order is vital to minimize loss of life and increase survivability of those involved – both civilians and first responders. It is one of those situations where there aren’t other equally effective paths that can be chosen. It is THE path. Regardless of the length of training I like to constantly reinforce the idea to responders that the first priority, before anything else, is to stop the threat. It is only after this is accomplished that the other items on the list begin to matter – because it is only after the active threat is eliminated that they can be adequately addressed at all.
It is not only our officers that need to understand the response priorities, it is also important for us to make our school teachers and administrators aware of this protocol. Initially, educators may make the assumption that emergency medical would precede threat elimination – especially in the scenario where a severely injured person is the first immediate thing encountered prior to reaching the active shooter. We want to make our audience aware of our response and explain why. We have found a plumbing analogy to be one effective way to explain the logic behind the chosen response. It goes as follows: Let’s imagine you have a leaking pipe in your kitchen. At the point you make the discovery, the water is covering a significant area of the kitchen floor. You can run and get towels and a mop and get to work in a frantic attempt to clean up the water. You may see some initial success, but the pipe will continue to leak and replace the water you are cleaning up. It won’t be long until you have exhausted yourself and all of your resources and the cumulative water damage has continued to increase and spread damage to other areas. Contrast that with a different approach. Upon identifying the leaking pipe, you move quickly to turn off the main water supply. Now, the problem is still bad, but it isn’t getting any worse. You can then use your resources (mops and towels) to contain the damage and begin cleaning up the mess one portion at a time until you have completed the task.
In the end, whether you are talking about plumbing leaks or active shooters, problems can be made at a much faster rate than they can be resolved, thus it is imperative that we focus our first greatest effort on stopping the cause of the problem. Only after that is done, are we in a position to start dealing with the damage done.”
In regards to keeping kids from their parents, there is no conspiracy to do so. Generally, kids will be evacuated as soon as the threat is eliminated and the area is secure. Remember, now the area is a crime scene and there is no logical reason why anyone would want the kids to remain there any longer than absolutely necessary. That being said, evacuation will not usually start until either the entire school is secure or at a minimum, a safety corridor has been established for evacuation. This may take hours – not days.
Evacuation may consist of moving kids to an alternate location (sometimes but not always) because of the limited ability of the school to handle enormous amounts of parents, emergency vehicles, media, spectators, etc. It would not be unusual to have another school, large mall parking lot, stadium, etc as a pre-decided rally point for parents to meet evacuated students. This would keep them separate and protected somewhat from the emergency vehicle chaos and media frenzy and allow parents a safe place to reunite with children.
And no, parents are not going to be allowed to rush into an area to get their kids in the middle of an active shooter event. That is just not the way things work in any country or any point in time – ever. That is not holding kids hostage or keeping someone’s kids from them – that is temporarily protecting someone from their own lack of common sense. A delay for the sake of everyone’s safety – not holding the kids hostage.
Referencing pointing guns at children during lock down drills.
Lockdown drills at schools are usually separate from active shooter training in most areas. Lockdown drills don’t involve guns, just practice locking doors, getting out of the halls, and going through a list of pre-set procedures.
Active shooter training is usually done without students present. Adult or college age volunteers usually “play” the part of students to add realism. I am sure you can find some school or police department somewhere that does things differently and unprofessionally. However, what I have outlined is generally common across the country.
I will close by saying that active shooters and school based terrorism is a huge concern for law enforcement. The desire to keep a Beslan type of massacre from happening in America is driving the bus on this training and these drills. It is really misdirected energy to lump it in with some FEMA conspiracy to steal kids and put them into concentration camps. I assure you.April 22, 2014 at 7:50 am #10175
Danie Theron – I don’t have kids. I don’t read Infowars. The ‘prepper’ world would do well to watch the tendency to see conspiracy around every corner. Thanks for taking the time to provide such a great response/clarification. What I wonder about is this: what started and continues to fuel this violence in/directed at schools to begin with? The freedom from worry/concern I and my parents enjoyed when I was a kid from so many things, like this is stunning.April 22, 2014 at 12:12 pm #10215
All I have to say is that criminals love gun free zones! Every time you see a mass shooting it is in a gun free zone.
So why are they not doing something about this, well the government wants more of this to happen so they can try to pass more gun control. They are not interested in the real problem.
If there were no gun free zones then criminals would think real hard about going into any place were they do not know who has a gun on them. Criminals do not want to go some were that they do not know who is armed and get shot at.
This is what the gun control people do not like to talk about. Every city that has some type of gun control in the U. S. has more crime. Gun control and gun free zones don’t work.
All the gun control people really want is to end the 2nd Amendment.April 22, 2014 at 1:20 pm #10225
Danie, just for the record.
I am a prepper and mom. I am Canadian and when it comes to the states most times you’ll notice around here I dont comment in the areas of gov stuff, why…well because I have no idea!! This post I posted here came around and as a parent I of course went WOW. I am pleased to know this is full of half truths and such, that would make parents rest easy.
Lock downs and evacs are two different things. And I did post my own daughters lockdown pdf from her district.
My kid is 16 and in a Canadian school and was fearing these things before I even found this article and we are in canada.
Prepare for the unknown by studying how others in the past have coped with the unforeseeable and the unpredictable.
George S. PattonApril 22, 2014 at 1:52 pm #10227
I think these events are a commentary on the health of our culture and society. Years ago, guns were easily accessible by children, schools had shooting sports, boys carried pocket knives, etc – yet mass killings were uncommon.
Regarding gun control:
In short, I am against it. Guns are the number one guarantee of freedom in a society and keep the power balance between government and the citizens finely tuned and honest. Guns are not the problem and no false promise of safety is worth giving them up over. Period.
Gypsy, I understand your concern for your daughter. It is good to consider all of the possibilities and help your daughter plan for emergencies. I am glad you posted the article you found so we could discuss it and learn more about what is going on. I am proud of you for your efforts to help your daughter as well as the rest of the members here with kids. I am not saying that there is never anything bad that goes on related to school policy lockdown, but I am saying it is not common. If there is something that seems fishy, it is probably the result of well-intentioned, but poorly thought out policy or badly designed training as opposed to evil.
Regarding the infowars article:
I am irritated by the fact that there is much propaganda out there and people on the internet and in the media maliciously use it to stir up controversy. This confuses many good and well-meaning folks. I know that a lot of the conspiracy theories out there just end up occupying peoples time and mental energy and taking the focus off of real common sense preparedness. It is easy to be confused and it happens to everyone to one degree or another. Just do your best to be vigilant.
Tweva and Freedom, thank you for your insight and comments. They are appreciated.April 22, 2014 at 3:45 pm #10244
Another Communist tactic ( Hitler used it also ) . brainwash the children or hold them to keep the adults in line .
You must be logged in to reply to this topic.