School Terrifies Kids With Impromptu Gun Lesson Involving Fake Masked Gunman

shutterstock_111707843__1381956314_142.196.156.251A North Carolina public school terrified students last week by having a masked gunman burst into their classroom and “rob” them with a fake pistol. What the hell?

First of all, what masked gunman is going to rob a bunch of sixth graders in their classrooms? Who thought of this ridiculous exercise? Also – bursting into a classroom and terrifying children is a horrible, horrible idea.

Clearly some parents freaked out when their children told them about their day. The school tried to do some recon by sending this letter home to parents:

Sixth Grade Parents/ Guardians:

I want to make you aware of an exercise that may have caused some excitement in our sixth grade classrooms on Friday.  As part of an enrichment lesson on exhibiting good citizenship and observing your surroundings, another staff member entered the sixth grade classrooms and pretend to steal an item while dressed in a ski-mask and holding a toy pistol. Even though the play-acting caused some initial concerns, once the skit was completed, the teachers quickly explained who the person was and that the ‘theft’ was not real. Students were then asked to discuss what they observed.

“Exhibiting good citizenship and observing your surroundings?” Were they trying to see which of the sixth graders would jump up and try to disarm a masked criminal? I am totally confused about the point of this “enrichment exercise.”

The school system admits – in light of the school shootings making headlines around the country – they should have been more sensitive.

“It obviously did lack that sensitivity that was needed…all of our schools work very hard to promote a safe learning environment…in this situation, the exercise in its original intent was appropriate, but in how it was executed it obviously lacked judgment,” said Ken Derksen, Public Information Officer with the Wayne County Public Schools.

Translation: this went over way better in our heads. We didn’t realize masked gunmen would be totally terrifying to sixth graders.

Thanks for the non-apology, but please don’t pull a fake gun on a child, ever.

(photo: Nomad_Soul/ Shutterstock)

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  • Muggle

    Why would anyone ever think this was okay? Especially to sixth graders!

  • Shelly Lloyd

    What The Ever Living Fuck is wrong with the people who thought that would be ok?

  • Momma425

    That school is SO lucky my child doesn’t attend there.
    What in the hell were they thinking???

  • Rachel Sea

    They are high. That’s not a civics lesson, that’s practically assault.

    There is literally no lesson to teach a child that requires a masked man with a gun. In fact, if your lesson plan includes an activity that would incite a cop to think they need to shoot you, it is a psychotically bad lesson plan, and maybe teaching is not for you.

    • Muggle

      It reminds me of that church group a few years ago who got some ex-soldiers and ex-cops (!) to wear masks and point guns at a bunch of terrified teenagers, then actually loaded them all up into a van and drove them somewhere else– and revealed themselves and what was going on FORTY-FIVE MINUTES LATER.

      What the fuck goes through these people’s minds??

  • Paul White

    I’ve gotta wonder WTF they were thinking. For reals. Can you imagine panicked 911 calls from people’s cell phones?

  • DMH

    In the military we call stupid crap like this product of the Good Idea fairy. Smh…

  • Allen

    I don’t even see how that could be a lesson. How does this teach kids to observe their surroundings or be good citizens? A masked person with a gun isn’t that difficult to notice. If they wanted to do a roleplay exercise, I can think of several good ways they could have done an exercise on observing your surroundings.

  • Rachel

    What is ridiculous is that this is not the only case of a school doing something stupid involving scaring kids with ‘guns.’ I read an article about a school that decided to test how well its students listened to emergency preparedness lectures by doing a drill…a drill that involved having a fake gunman burst into a room and fake shoot a teacher right in front of the kiddos.
    When asked to explain the aftermath, the school actually speculated that the students were distraught because the teacher was popular, and that the kids wouldn’t have been as traumatized if they fake-shot a less liked teacher.
    It makes you wonder how these morons get in charge of schools.

  • Momof3

    So when kids bring toy guns to school, they get suspended, right? The school board should suspend these “professionals” as well. What stupidity.

  • Jessie

    We had an exercise like this in college, but it involved some guy running in and stealing something and then we all had to ID the guy. It was useful in showing how crappy eye witness testimony is, but no weapon was needed. WTF?