Patterico's Pontifications


Teachers Terrorize Sixth Graders

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 5:54 am

Can you imagine sending your kids back to school after something like this?

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 night was intended as a learning experience and lasted five minutes during the weeklong trip to a 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.

“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 trip.

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.


33 Responses to “Teachers Terrorize Sixth Graders”

  1. My ex-wife went back to teaching briefly about ten years ago after she was laid off in a bank merger. She had not taught since our son was born in 1965. She was appalled at the changes in teacher quality and attitude. I’ve posted the story previously over at Cathy’s World. The short version is that nothing teachers do now surprises me. I gave up on public schools, even in suburban school districts (Like Capistrano Unified which had a big scandal the past two years), but am fotunately able to afford private schools. God help the kids condemned to public schools in the LA Unified. Tennessee seems no improvement.

    Mike K (86bddb)

  2. These teachers committed a crime. Aggravated assault at a minimum. They should be fired and go to jail.

    nk (f28d83)

  3. This is a joke, right? You got this one from The Onion?

    You must have, because no one could be so freaking stupid as to have actually done something like this.

    Dana (3e4784)

  4. People forget that mass shootings are incredibly rare. There is no justification for scaring the wits out of the kids for this or even spending time on it. Time is much better spent on fire drills.

    Crust (399898)

  5. the teaching profession has one thing in common with the police profession: the career well-being of a teacher, or a cop, is the most important factor in the employer’s calculus, far outweighing the rights of the children, or the public. these teachers committed a crime, but they will never be prosecuted. hopefully the parents will get good lawyers – there’s enough liability here to shut down an entire school district.

    assistant devil's advocate (efe53f)

  6. Did the teachers perhaps deduce from the basics of their own scenario that they should have been armed? As a student, I would have concluded that I should be, if they aren’t, thank you.

    J. Peden (8279cf)

  7. Intentional infliction of emotional distress?

    Insomniac (8899da)

  8. must we reach for a lawyer for every stupid thing people do? Get the boneheads fired, if you must, but let’s not enrich lawyers on the backs of the tax payers, please.

    quasimodo (edc74e)

  9. Nice gratuitous dig at police officers, assistant devil’s advocate. Here was an entry that had nothing to do with the police, but you had to get in your shot. Especially ironic from the standpoint of if this had been an actual shooting, the police would have been the first ones called upon to risk their lives trying to save the public.

    In Los Angeles our employer is the city and I have yet to see the city have any concern for our well being. Just the opposite, the city and the police brass have a long history of throwing police officers under the bus to protect themselves. Just look at the rush to judgment from all the city and police leaders over the response to the immigrant protests.

    Paul (db94e7)

  10. telling them it was not a drill

    So it’s a drill and the students are told that it’s not a drill. Some fable about a boy and wolf comes to mind.

    aunursa (1b5bad)

  11. I just can’t believe they did this…

    I’m without words…

    Oh, wait… I have one.


    There, that sums it up nicely I think…

    Scott Jacobs (a1de9d)

  12. Um, nk, what’s your objection to first cousins marrying, and what’s it got to do with this story? I know several couples who are first cousins, including two couples in my extended family, and none of their offspring seem in any way impaired. The odds of genetic problems resulting from such marriages are minuscule, and the children’s intelligence is almost certain to depend on that of the parents; two geniuses are far more likely to produce a genius than a moron, even if they are cousins.

    Milhouse (ac13c2)

  13. The odds might be minuscule, but they raise sharply the more generations it happens…

    There are reasons we have jokes about the deep, deep, deep south.

    And before the people from Mississippi get all in a tizzy, I’m not talking about them.

    I’m talking about Arkansas… šŸ˜‰

    Scott Jacobs (a1de9d)

  14. I think I would have to open a can of whoopass.

    MOG (f57a20)

  15. So I’ll take a “Fake” gun and put it in the Teachers motuh and ask what they’d do next? I of course would go to jail. Why haven’t these idiots?

    paul from fl (ae01cb)

  16. Incredible. I don’t know if I’d let my kids return to a school that had made a breach of trust that big.

    I was a “victim” of such a spoof in college, and thought it was a spoof in the making and didn’t get too excited. The “kidnappers” didn’t realize how close they came to getting taken out themselves by a quite athletic fellow who didn’t realize it was a stunt. Someone who was in on it succeeded in getting him to chill before someone was hurt. Not much of a chance that happening with elementary school kids.

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  17. Coming next: “Fake” home invasion robberies, “staged” carjackings, and “pretend” child molesting.
    –just for educational purposes only.

    Perfect Sense (b6ec8c)

  18. Perhaps the parents of these children should group together and conduct a mass citizens’ arrest “drill” upon the teachers, such that the teachers will know what to do when the cops come and toss their sorry asses in the klink for real.

    JD (044292)

  19. Keep giving us reasons to homeschool, folks.

    Dana (d77711)

  20. If one of my kids were one of the ones they pulled this on? I’d stage a drill all over the faces of the teachers and admins who had a hand in this…

    Scott Jacobs (a1de9d)

  21. Millhouse, if embeds work here, here’s a case on point:

    nk (f28d83)

  22. Dear National Education Association: You have some remedial work to do!…

    Didn’t any of these educated professionals have enough sense to stop and think, “You know, this could go really wrong?”


    Common Sense Political Thought (819604)

  23. The Professional Educational Class in this country is just sick and warped. In any decent country, these people would be fired and jailed.

    Jack (fbc22c)

  24. The Knuckleheads of the Day award Part One…

    Today’s first winners are Don Bartch and Quentin Mastin….

    The Florida Masochist (59ce3a)

  25. There should be criminal charges. Period. Or is it now legal to be in a position of trust and authority and threaten kids with death?

    Christoph (353eca)

  26. If it is legal, it will certainly increase the amount of homework kids get done…

    “I want problems 1-20 done and turned in tomorrow, or I’ll f’ing kill you…”

    Scott Jacobs (feb2f7)

  27. You just know that this “teaching” excercise was not in the lesson plan. This something that obviously mediocre people did on their own. In normal cases a teacher violating a lesson plan is put on probation at the very least. But nothing will happen to these incompetents because both the school district and the teachers union will keep this thing in house. Parents long ago lost our rights to control our children’s education; at least in the public schools.

    Howard Veit (4ba8d4)

  28. Sounds fun. I would have brained her with a paperweight. Kids are too wimpy nowadays and parents too overprotective. Life is combat.

    TCO (9c1776)

  29. As a public school teacher, I’m appalled that this happened. They weren’t even in familiar territory–according to the article, the teachers and students were on a class trip somewhere else. That means, these kids were way out of their element, especially with any familiar procedures that probably would’ve been in place back at school. Furthermore, as most teachers are aware, in the midst of a serious situation, students will respond to a calm, direct, in-charge teacher–even if they haven’t “practiced” it before.

    Bottom line is, many kids have enough trauma going on in their lives as it is. It’s terrible that these teachers frightened their students like this. There’s no educational or practical reason this should have occurred, and myriad reasons it shouldn’t have. I hope the union keeps a distance (as it will sometimes do when teachers commit the downright stupid).

    Tom (eb6b88)

  30. P.S. What’s with the union-hating? There’s nothing in the article to suggest that the teachers are union-backed–but, I know it’s fun to go ahead and throw in the cheap shots wherever possible.

    Tom (eb6b88)

  31. The odds are VERY good that these folks are in the union. VERY good.

    It the only way idiots like this could still be teaching.

    Well, mental retardation on the part of school officials is another, but I’m betting on the union.

    Scott Jacobs (feb2f7)

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