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Fake Attack at Elementary School
Status: News
Sixty-nine elementary students from Scales Elementary School got quite a scare during a recent field trip to Fall Creek Falls. Their teachers told them that a gunman was on the loose in the area:
The students were told to lie on the floor or crawl underneath tables and keep quiet. The lights went out, and about 20 kids started to cry, 11-year-old Shay Naylor said. Some held hands and shook.
“I was like, ‘Oh my God,’ ” Shay said Saturday afternoon as she recounted the incident. “At first I thought I was going to die. We flipped out. (A teacher) told us, ‘We just got a call that there’s been a random shooting.’ I was freaked out.
As the students lay cowering on the floor, a man in a hooded sweatshirt pulled on a locked door, trying to get into the room. But here's the punchline -- it turned out that the threat was just a prank. And the pranksters were none other than the teachers, who were trying to make the kids think about what it would be like to be in a real situation like that. Two of the school employees responsible for the prank have now been suspended.

I can understand why it might be useful to stage a fake drill for an emergency such as a fire, but the logic of staging fake terror attacks escapes me. After all, what if someone were to fight back? Nevertheless, this is not the first time we've seen a situation like this. Back in August 2004 I posted about a fake terrorism drill that took place in a government office in Carter County, Tennessee, in which the local Emergency Management Director secretly arranged for armed intruders to burst into the office, fire shots in the air, and take hostages... prompting the workers to panic and run for cover.
Categories: Hate Crimes/Terror
Posted by Alex on Tue May 15, 2007
Comments (16)
More from the Hoax Museum Archives:
That's really horrible. I mean it's one thing to be prepared & aware. A totally different thing to think "this is it" for a CHILD. Sickos.
Posted by Maegan  on  Tue May 15, 2007  at  04:36 PM
This happened at my drama group, although it was intended as a prank not a drill. Several of the oldest members informed the director, who got everyone in one place, then rushed in with BB guns, balaclavas and camo uniform, cut the power and ordered everyone to the floor.
Although some of the older members, including myself, knew them well enough to guess (and realise when they accidentally dropped their accents), some of the younger members were in tears afterwards.
They even announced their arrival with smoke grenades through the doorway - bought second hand from the US army, who of course asked no questions...
Posted by Owen  on  Tue May 15, 2007  at  04:51 PM
That's just crazy, these were just kids! Eleven year olds are only just coming to grips with the world as a whole, figuring out what's not actually real and what is part of the scary grown up world. To throw something like this at them is just darn right irresponsible.
Posted by Nettie  on  Tue May 15, 2007  at  06:14 PM
Eleven-year-olds can be a lot more grown-up than people seem to think. All the same, this sort of thing is a silly thing to do with people of any age group. For one thing, it makes people less likely to take things seriously if it should all happen for real ("Ah, it's only another drill. Don't worry about it!"). Also, things could get out of hand: somebody could try to attack the "terrorist", or have a heart attack, or the police could happen to notice and next thing everybody knows the SWAT team is on the scene.
Posted by Accipiter  on  Tue May 15, 2007  at  06:24 PM
This is just totally out of line.

You make the kids think someone is going to KILL them, then the guy breaks in with a gun....then what, flip on the lights and yell "JUST KIDDING!"

Pisses me off. I'd be kicking some people's asses if my child was involved.
Posted by Josh  on  Tue May 15, 2007  at  08:08 PM
The law of averages says, just a few more of these clever "drills" before one of the would-be victims whips out a piece and opens fire.
Posted by Big Gary  on  Tue May 15, 2007  at  10:33 PM
The lawyers will have a field day....
Posted by LaMa  on  Wed May 16, 2007  at  04:03 AM
Can't imagine the sick minds that exist today, and all for the sake of entertainment! There is NO WAY these scumbags could ever convince me that this was solely for the purpose of education and training... not even SLIGHTLY was it for either purpose. This sort of sicko is in it entirely for themselves, and NOBODY else! If any other person get's entertained by the incident, that's just an extra added bonus for the 'prankster'. A prank is one thing, but this is SICK!
Posted by Christopher  on  Wed May 16, 2007  at  06:43 AM
I think terrorists wouldn't be as scary. What the prank/ drill seemed to be was a simulated SCHOOL SHOOTING, not a terrorist attack. At least with a terrorist attack there might be some chance of hostage taking and negotiation, while a school shooting is just kill-everyone-you-can. For an 11 year old I think Columbine or Virginia Tech would be scarier than the Iranian Embassy seige.

Nevertheless, they were damn lucky some plucky kid didn't slip behind one of them and give him one with a fire extinguisher. God knows if this happened at my school to kids that age I'm sure at least one responsible adult would punch one of the teachers. That's just beyond the line of a joke. It's not even a drill. A drill is only a drill if people know about it.
Posted by Renquist  on  Wed May 16, 2007  at  07:03 AM
O Gee, when I was in school it was the nuclear war drills. We were never told, if I remember right, if it was real or a drill. Scared? Probably. Scarred emotionally? Maybe.

However, this isn't that. This is a serious problem and "Just Kidding" or "We decided to hold a drill" ain't gonna cut it. Those two should be charged with child endangerment, assualt, etc. Or even worse, forced to watch educational movies for several years.
Posted by Christopher Cole  on  Wed May 16, 2007  at  02:39 PM
I guess I'm too young to have had to deal with nuclear war drills. We always had fire drills, and even tornado drills early on, though those stopped sometime in grade school. The idea of nuclear drills always makes me think of the girl from Matinee who is refusing to participate because she knows fully well how unsurvivable a direct hit would be.
Posted by Charybdis  on  Wed May 16, 2007  at  03:16 PM
Good grief, how dumb can some people be? And teachers at that!
Posted by Dave Rattigan  on  Thu May 17, 2007  at  11:18 AM
I really, really wish some kid had sneaked round behind them and hit them hard with the fire extinguisher. That would have taught them to scare little kids (who can be unexpectedly sneaky and vicious just when you don't want them to be)
Posted by Nona  on  Mon May 21, 2007  at  06:30 AM
Reminds me of high school, when they staged a fake robbery during class to prove how unreliable eye witness accounts are. One kid did try to chase down the "thief", I heard. But this was before 9/11, Columbine, etc.
Posted by Lina  on  Mon May 21, 2007  at  03:57 PM
Lina, the most famous version of that was done in the 30's at a convention of psychologists. At least I think it was the 30's, it might have been the late 40's. Eyewitnesses are notorious for being unreliable. And, I suppose, adults should be notorious for scaring the hell out of kids. The more I think about this stunt, the less I like it.
Posted by Christopher Cole  on  Mon May 21, 2007  at  04:26 PM
heh we did a thing like that when i was at school, it was just a normal school assembly when this guy came in wearing an odd overcoat and started pushing and grunting at hte teacher. it was kinda funny actually and i soon realised it was actually one of the other teachers.. then a week later we had to describe the event and draw a picture of the assiant...

nobody ever drawed a gun on us however.. thats just wrong
Posted by joodd  on  Tue May 22, 2007  at  06:29 PM
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