A 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. Â 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.