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Wednesday, January 24, 2007 

Big Al's Thoughts on School Shooting Simulation Drill

So every Wednesday morning I do volunteer work at Bishop Elementary School in Sunnyvale. I help about 11 First graders in their reading and math homework. I'm focused on helping them finish their work, but most of them just want to talk or play. I've been doing this for the last 2 school years in addition to my Big Brothers Big Sisters help. I'm pretty satisfied with my efforts in giving back to the community.

I was speaking with the First Grade teacher this morning, and she explained that today is "Code Blue" day. This is a school-wide drill that simulates an attack on the school by a shooter. Her job is to barricade the doors shut, drape all of the windows and calmly lead the kids into the corner of the classroom and hope to not get discovered by the psycho. The Sunnyvale police department will also be involved to run over the different scenarios.

Can you believe what our world has come to? I remember growing up and we would brush off our monthly fire or earthquake drills. The reality is that we are now in a time where today's children are not only vulnerable to natural disasters but to crazy people who have nothing better to do than take out their problems on others. It's very disturbing and sad. You often think that these situations would never happen to me, but I'm sure those in Columbine and the Pennsylvania Amish Community said the same thing.

Although I applaud the Sunnyvale School District and the Sunnyvale Police Department for being proactive about keeping today's kids safe, I suggest that they target the source of the problem and provide more assistance there. You cannot prevent the random school attack, but in cases where the problems originate with the students or teachers, I believe this can be prevented with proper community outreach such as a more welcoming environment, more available counselors and proper student monitoring. Small steps like this will reduce the number of school related shootings per year.

BCP - a man for others.

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