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Florida Middle Schoolers Terrified After Police Burst into Classrooms With Guns During Surprise Drill

In the wake of Sandy Hook and other school shootings, school safety is important. One school district, though, seemed to cross the line when they scared the kids to death with an unannounced active shooter drill.

One of the middle schoolers at Jewett Middle Academy in Polk Count told Fox 13 that the kids were really freaked out when the principal announced the school was on lock down but gave no further instructions.

“A lot of people started getting scared because we thought it was a real drill,” Lauren said. “We actually thought that someone was going to come in there and kill us.”

Lauren said at one point two police officers burst into her classroom of preteens with their guns drawn.

Police later admitted that they used AR-15 rifles in the drill with kids present.

The school also did not inform parents of the drill and instead sent and e-mail – after the drill was completed – saying that there was a “lockdown active shooter drill” that had taken place during the school day.

After parents complained, the Winter Haven police said they would re-consider their procedures.

Still, an apology seems hardly enough considering the damage they may have done.

As one blogger pointed out, the short-sighted drill may have actually put real lives at risk.

“The fear that teachers might suffer heart attacks, that kids might experience psychotic breakdowns, that someone with his own weapon might shoot real bullets in defense—none of that seemed to occur to our peacekeepers,” Lenore Skenazy said.

Skenazy also pointed out the school did not even bother to tell parents until afterwards, even though in the days of texting and computers some might have learned sooner and raced to the school, which she said could have endangered anyone in their path.

In planning their drill, though, it seems the police and the school thought of none of these safety hazards.

“No, these cops were so focused on the most horrific, least likely crime that nothing else mattered,” the blogger concluded.

Photo Credit: Screenshot via Mediaite

About the author

Tamar is a New York based freelance writer and photographer whose work has appeared in over 15 publications. You can catch her work regularly on Issue Hawk, Latest, Jspace, and MediaGlobal.