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Tuesday, January 10, 2023

Which is actually harmful to children? Active shooter drills or gay penguins?

Florida has become a state where up is down and right is wrong. 

Think about this, Florida's public school students endure monthly active shooter drills because of the real and present danger of gun violence, something the state refuses to do anything about. Instead, in a pyrrhic attempt to protect children, they have banned, And Tango Makes Three, the real and heartwarming story of two male penguins raising a chick.

Which of the two do you think is more dangerous for Florida's students?

Let’s tackle active shooter drills first; this is what Sandy Hook Promise says: 

Lockdown Drills Are Scary Enough 

Active shooter simulations are worse. Many students express anxiety and worry about regular lockdown drills. Generations of students are learning to hide under their desks and barricade their doors. They are taught to block windows to avoid being seen by a potential shooter. 

Now, imagine there was someone running through the halls pretending to be a shooter. Imagine them carrying a fake weapon pounding on your student’s classroom door, and taking aim at students and teachers in the hallways. Imagine your local school piping in the sound of gunfire, claiming it will help students prepare for the real thing. 

How can we expect students to walk away unscathed? 

Lockdown drills are scary enough, and as somebody with a back wall that is actually a row of floor-to-ceiling windows that wouldn’t stop a well-thrown rock, I doubt an accurate representation of what I would do should there be an active shooter, at least on my campus. 

Next, let’s see what the American Psychiatric Association says: 

One study by Moore et al. used a text polling service to survey 815 youth ages 14-24. Findings show that among a diverse sample of youth in the United States gun violence (82.6%) and active shooter drills (68.5%) impact a large majority of youth, many times in negative or unintentional ways. Shockingly, few youths in this study (6.7%) reported experiencing drills that follow national recommendations of Run. Hide. Fight. More than half of the youth in this study (60.2%) reported feeling unsafe, scared, helpless, or sad as a result of experiencing active shooter drills. Teens who practiced drills made it clear that these emotions reflect the serious implications of such experiences, “Active shooter drills make me feel afraid, because if you make a sound your life and the life of your classmates will be in danger.” Youth were also conflicted over the effectiveness of drills, with one describing them as “a necessary evil.” Although more than half (56.1%) stated that drills made students more prepared for an active shooter event, there was a lack of consensus over whether they make schools safer.,-do-no-harm 

Hmm, it made students feel “… unsafe, scared, helpless, or sad as a result of experiencing active shooter drills. 

I guess those feelings are okay. 

Finally, let’s check in with 

 In the absence of any conclusive evidence on drills’ effectiveness at ensuring safety during actual active shooter incidents, Everytown urges school decision-makers to assess whether the potential but unproven benefits of these drills outweigh their known collateral consequences to school communities’ mental health and wellbeing. 

Florida hasn’t truly cared about students’ mental health and well-being for quite some time. Those feelings are trumped by campaign dollars from the NRA. 

So, what do we know? We know there is no evidence that the drills are effective, but there is plenty of evidence that they can negatively impact students' mental health and well-being. So, what does Florida do? They ban a book about gay penguins. 

From believe or not, Fox News, 

"We removed access to ‘And Tango Makes Three’ for our kindergarten through third-grade students in alignment with Florida HB 1557, which prohibits classroom instruction on sexual orientation or gender identity for those grade levels," Sherri Owens, the Lake County Florida communications director told Fox News Digital. 

The banning of the book stems from Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis' education legislation he signed into law last year. Florida House Bill 1557 "Parental Rights in Education," which was dubbed by critics as the "don't say gay" bill. The law bans teachers from giving classroom instruction on "sexual orientation" or "gender identity" in grades kindergarten through third grade. 

"And Tango Makes Three" is one of several books that have been removed from schools after DeSantis and state Republicans passed legislation on restricting instruction on critical race theory and gender theory. 

Two male penguins raising a chick, bad, doing nothing about guns and terrorizing children, good, that is Florida. 

Florida is not being led by its best in brightest. Instead, it is being run by fascists hell-bent on turning it into Gilead. Me, well, I will stand with Tango and his two dads.  

1 comment:

  1. I went to a book signing event at the main library downtown on Tuesday night. Kwame Alexander wrote "An American Story" so that elementary school teachers could introduce a difficult subject to their students: slavery. Sadly I do not believe DCPS will allow this book to be read to students under their new guidelines and any teacher that does so could be fired or worse. How did we get here? When did we get so triggered by ideas and conversations? Which sjde is really woke?