Teachers Stage Fake Gun Attack on Students

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. -- Staff members of an elementary school staged a fictitious gun attack on students during a class trip, telling them it was not a drill as the children cried and hid under tables.

The mock attack Thursday night was intended as a learning experience and lasted five minutes during the weeklong trip to a state park, said Scales Elementary School Assistant Principal Don Bartch, who led the trip.

"We got together and discussed what we would have done in a real situation," he said.

But parents of the sixth-grade students were outraged.

"The children were in that room in the dark, begging for their lives, because they thought there was someone with a gun after them,"
said Brandy Cole, whose son went on the trip.

Some parents said they were upset by the staff's poor judgment in light of the April 16 shootings at Virginia Tech that left 33 students and professors dead, including the gunman.

During the last night of the trip, staff members convinced the 69 students that there was a gunman on the loose. They were told to lie on the floor or hide underneath tables and stay quiet. A teacher, disguised in a hooded sweat shirt, even pulled on locked door.

After the lights went out, about 20 kids started to cry, 11-year-old Shay Naylor said.

"I was like, 'Oh My God,' " she said. "At first I thought I was going to die. We flipped out."


Principal Catherine Stephens declined to say whether the staff members involved would face disciplinary action, but said the situation "involved poor judgment."

UPDATE:

NEWS RELEASE
MURFREESBORO CITY SCHOOLS
SCHOOL/COMMUNITY RELATIONS OFFICE



FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: CHERYL HARRIS
May 14, 2007 615.893.2313 (OFFICE)
615.668-5138 (CELL)

Disciplinary Action Announced by Director of Schools


Director of Schools Marilyn Mathis has suspended lead teacher, Mr. Quentin Mastin, and assistant principal, Don Bartch, for unprofessional conduct and neglect of duty due to actions taken with Scales Elementary School students on May 10, 2007 at Fall Creek Falls State Park. The suspension is without pay and will commence on May 14, 2007 and continue through the end of this school year ending June 1, 2007.





Talk Show America 5/14/2007

28 comments:

Anonymous said...

That's horrible! Even with fire and tornado drills, students know that it's just a drill! I probably would have passed out at that age. And as a teacher, I would have never gone along with that plan and would have tried to stop it. Yes, if you feel you need to have a drill for what to do in that situation, do it, but you don't terrify children. Not even for five minutes.

Anonymous said...

Yeeks- What a world

Lisa said...

There is a question as to whether these teachers will receive disciplinary action? They are SO lucky that my children don't attend their school! That was a CRUEL and sick thing to do to those children.

Anonymous said...

I am totally outragged at such a travesity as perpitrated on innocent sixth grade students by the very people that should be safe guarding and preventing such acts!

I've read where it "may have been a mistake in judgement". This is no mistake in judgement, this is a total lack of judgement and a serious question of intelligence by the very people those students of Murfreesboro TN should trust as much as their own parents. If I where the parent of one of these students on that trip, I would definately SUE! These "teachers" have violated the trust of their students and the trust of the parents as well.

How can any parent ever trust the judgement of one of those so called "teachers" at this school that where involved in this travestity ever again? How can any of these kids ever trust these "teachers" again? How can future students ever trust these "teachers"? The story will be told, and told and told again.

After this little "demonstration" I doubt these "teachers" themselves would show the courage of the teachers at Virginia Tech. Remember the teachers at Virginia Tech? Some of them gave their own lives to protect the students in their care.

Anonymous said...

I am totally outragged at such a travesity as perpitrated on innocent sixth grade students by the very people that should be safe guarding and preventing such acts!

I've read where it "may have been a mistake in judgement". This is no mistake in judgement, this is a total lack of judgement and a serious question of intelligence by the very people those students of Murfreesboro TN should trust as much as their own parents. If I where the parent of one of these students on that trip, I would definately SUE! These "teachers" have violated the trust of their students and the trust of the parents as well.

How can any parent ever trust the judgement of one of those so called "teachers" at this school that where involved in this travestity ever again? How can any of these kids ever trust these "teachers" again? How can future students ever trust these "teachers"? The story will be told, and told and told again.

After this little "demonstration" I doubt these "teachers" themselves would show the courage of the teachers at Virginia Tech. Remember the teachers at Virginia Tech? Some of them gave their own lives to protect the students in their care.

Anonymous said...

These teachers I'm sure thought of the repercussions and consequences of their actions but the children of this country and all you other idiots out there that think this is horrible really should go to Iraq and see how those children live on a daily basis and then talk to everyone about your poor little children being frightened. Our children need to be more frightened with all the sickos and crazy people out there that actually go onto campuses and into elementary and high schools and actually shoot people! The parents of this country should teach their kids to be more aware of what's going on around them at all times instead of living with their heads in the ground! How dare you get angry with a bunch of teachers that are trying to teach your children to protect themselves from the sickos of this world

Anonymous said...

JUST TERRIBLE !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Is this where we have finally landed after 30 years of domination by liberal educators? Please recall the "shock theater" employed by hippees in the 1960's - same thing. I for one would like to see these teachers be put into a similar situation, just to see "what they would do". Perhaps in a prison for a day or two?

Anonymous said...

I am totally outragged!! There should be no question on disciplinary action! There career should be over!!!!!

Mindy Carney said...

Ahem. I'm sorry, this has nothing to do with "liberal educators." Perhaps, for once, an issue can be discussed without pointing liberal or conservative fingers???

These people used horrible judgment - or NO judgment, perhaps, would be a better way to put it. Education in this country is beyond reprehensible in so many places, but we could argue til we're purple about whether it is the fault of liberals or conservatives and never come up with the "correct" answer. Bottom line is that these teachers did a hideous thing to these kids. The poster who pointed out that our children haven't a clue about fear is probably right - the majority of Americans haven't a clue what it is like to live in REAL poverty or REAL fear. We are spoiled, greedy and selfish as a nation - but scaring the crap, unnecessarily, out of a bunch of 12-yr.-olds is not the way to fix it. The WORLD is home to "sickos and crazy people" - who have access to weapons capable of killing many people from a distance. I've traveled to enough parts of this world to understand more than the average joe about how easy we have it compared to so many other places - but a life lived in fear because of a tiny minority who create risk - a risk which is blown wildly out of proportion by the enormous and immediate media coverage given to every bad thing that happens in every corner of the world - is not a life at all. Teach those kids to climb out of their safe little bubbles of suburbia or small-town America and connect with those who need their help - not to cower in fear at any stranger who happens to walk their way.

Anonymous said...

I cannot believe what this world is coming to. Who could possibly think this was even remotely a good idea? How will these kids ever be able to trust that ANY other drill is a real one? Very poor judgement on their part. Disciplinary action should not even be a question in this case. I'd like to see thier "teaching" career come to a screeching halt and be over!

J.R. said...

In response to this comment post:
http://www.talkshowamerica.com/2007/05/teachers-stage-fake-gun-attack-on.html#c7687705350169258183

By Anonymus

1.)I doubt highly that anyone of these teachers thought about the reprcussions of their actions or the drill would have never taken place.

2.)This isn't Iraq. Period. So don't try to politicize this issue as such to defend this defenseless action.

3.) Although I agree that our children need to be made aware of the possibilty of school shootings, they DO NOT need to be FRIGHTENED, as you put it, to get the message across.

4.)How dare I get angry at teachers who are trying to teach my children to protect themselves. I'll get as angry as I damn well please, first off who elected them the educators of teaching children how to protect themselves from "sickos", that's a job better left to law enforcement officers.

Why don't those teachers teach what they are supposed to be teaching, spelling, math, history,reading. Never mind trying to teach students topics that the teachers are not qualified to teach.

Teachers trying to teach students how to defend themselves is like me as a Police Sergeant trying to teach Trignometry.

Furthermore, this "Drill was obviously not part of the curriculum of the class trip and therefore not "authorized" by the school, and certainly not authorized by the parents of these students.

It never ceases to amaze me how the school has to get permission from the parents for little Johnny to go to the art museum, yet the teachers don't think they need a permission slip saying "You have my permission to scare the living daylights out of little Johnny today on your trip"

So whatever DIM BULB thought this was a BRIGHT IDEA derves the consequences of his/her actions, which served no purpose than to traumatize these young students.

Jay Are

john s said...

what kind of damm fools are those teachers? they should be fired immediately and forever barred from ever teaching again anywhere. if my child had attended that trip with those morons, everyone would now be going to their memorial service. that is the most disgusting thing i have ever heard. does the term "tar and feathers" come to mind. it damm sure does.

Anonymous said...

I guess the teachers felt that since the parents of this country won't teach their own children to be aware of what's going on around them and to defend themselves they felt they needed to do it. I feel that the way they went about it was WRONG, but the police department and law officials aren't in a position to teach our children the right way to protect themselves or they'd have done it already, someone has to do it. (All the police do nowadays is scare the crap out of children and adults alike) Try to get a child to find a police officer if he's in trouble and the first thing they do is try to figure out what the child has done wrong. What ever happened to protect and SERVE??????????? Don't give me your self righteous b-s about leaving it up to law enforcement. My son in law is a cop and he's told me many many times that too many parents don't care or give a crap about their kids in every social group and they are left to their own devices to protect themselves and they are already frightened. Some kids just have more money than others. These people (I feel) were just trying to show them the reality of the situation that come up now a days and to protect themselves. And as far as Iraq goes, no one is politicizing anything-it's reality ding dong. It's just not in our country yet. Remember I said YET!!!!!!!! It all boils down to the parents of this country, and if they did their job, more teachers wouldn't feel like they have to do it for them!!!!!!!!!!

J.R. said...

Hey, whoever you are, don't give me your BS about protect and Serve, I protect and serve everyday and have honorably for 27 years, and I HAVE taught children how to defend themselves, in a classroom setting, so don't give YOUR self rightous BS. And while there are some parents who don't care, the majority do.

I'll make my opinion known loud and clear on this (MY BLOG) and my show. If you don't like it that's too bad. Don't visit and don't listen, those are your rights.

Anonymous said...

I think someone should round those teachers up and make them beg for their lives. What on earth were they thinking. If my child were involved I would probably be locked up because those teachers would not be able to stop looking over their shoulders...

I hope that they someday experience the level of fear that they inflicted on those children.

They should be fired... flat out never allowed to teach again.

Anonymous said...

even worse...I just read on the school web page that the principal is a VA Tech Grad...oh brother, what a world!

Anonymous said...

What happened? Couldn't print my last comment? Afraid someone has a different opinion than you do? Like I said, the parents of this country should take responsibility for their children!!!! The teachers shouldn't have to and that's what I believe happened here. The teachers are realizing all over this country that parents aren't taking the initiative to be parents and teach their children right from wrong that's why so many teachers in the inner city school systems and elsewhere are doing what they can to protect themselves physically against the terrible way they are treated by the young of this country. Hmmmm.....kind of agrees with my last thought-the parents don't take care of their responsibilities. And like I said last time, I was a victim of child abduction-my child was kidnapped for over a year....I was a fortunate parent to get her child back and I taught my daughter how to defend herself to make sure it never happened again! But, I did it with intelligence, which is more than I can say for most parents out there. And also, I'm not attacking your ability to be a police officer or how good you do your job, but become a police officer in crime ridden states, not Massachusetts and then we'll talk about how parents don't care what happens to their kids.....they just sweep it under the rug. And I do think what these teachers did was WRONG!!!!!! And whatever happened to freedom of speech?????? I thought you wanted people to hit your blog but, oops I didn't know they had to have the same opinions as yours. You know, opinions are like a--holes, everyone has one.
And as far as Iraq? No politics there ding dong-just reality. It's just not here yet that's all.....but, one day (I hope not) it will be here and we will be fighting on our own soil teaching our children to protect themselves. Have a great day and I hope you think about what is going on in this country.

J.R. said...

Boy, you really are a piece of work. I was not attacking you at all about your right to your opinion, and thats why this comment area exists. However when stating your opinion you aksed posters here including me "How dare you get angry with a bunch of teachers that are trying to teach your children to protect themselves from the sickos of this world". ( in other words HOW DARE we have an opinion different from yours)

And trying to add Iraq into the mix was just purely a political ploy.

I merely disagreed with your position and said so, it was you who began your blather on self rightousness, etc..

And don't tell me about which state is more crime ridden, you have NO CLUE what crimes I have investigated, solved, and prosecuted.

I am glad that your cuild was returned safely to you after having been abducted, but this still does not qualify you as some expert on how these teachers handled thsi so called lesson.

I investigated two of the most horrific child abductions/murders in this state, and I am still actively involved in one of them.

I have also arrested hundreds of persons for violent crimes including the use of firearms and other weapons, sexual predators of children and even MURDER.

So much for your state that is more crime ridden theory.

I do want people to come to the blog and show and express their opinion.

You seem unable though to offer a different opinion than othere without, name calling (does Ding Dong ring a bell),(how about a...holes)(you'll notice I nvere called you any names) without demanding to know how WE Dare criticize these teachers, and without trying to spin Iraq into the mix, and when someone opposes your opinion, calling them self rightous.

If I didn't want your opinion posted I would remove it from the blog plain and simple. As for your last comment, as far as I can see it was printed. So who knows what that's about.

Anyway, take care and thanks for reading and commenting.

Jay Are

Anonymous said...

Thank you for letting me view my thoughts....and I hope no hard feelings. I apologize if you thought I was calling you names-I didn't mean to do that. Have a great week and God bless!

Anonymous said...

And I do have the utmost respect for the Police officers and firefighters of this country! My apologies to you and your fellow police officers if I offended you or anyone else. I really didn't mean to do that. It wasn't my objective at all.

Anonymous said...

What they did is wrong. However, is it really much different than fire drills or tornado drills where no warning is given, where we have them huddle into a corner, put their head between their legs , hands over their heads and necks, or how about when we had students crawl under their desk in case of nuclear attack. Were these children more or less terified than the whole country when we had daily terror alerts, colors changing from yellow, to orange, to red. Oh no, there's a high probability that we are going to be attacked today. None of it is defensible, but it's much easier to attack teachers.

Anonymous said...

I can't help but wonder what steps would have been taken had students ran this little scenario on the class or the teachers? I feel certain they would be in jail about now. Bad judgement? That's putting it mildly.

Anonymous said...

I live in Murfreesboro and my mother is a certified teacher. She applied for a job in the county, where Scales is located, but they wouldn't hire her because you have to have "connections" in order to get a job in the teaching profession nowadays. Most likely, these teachers will get off with a reprimand for what they did while my mother, who has nearly twenty years experience with children, cannot get a job because she isn't related to one of the city big-wigs. The crime is not that these teachers terrified children on a school field trip but that these teachers will not be fired for their actions because they know people in the local government.

Jen said...

I want to remind parents out there that we are living in a different world. You probably don't hear about half of the things that happen at your child's school and there's a reason for that. I am a teacher in Saint Lucie County, Florida. Last year I worked at a school where a parent threatened to come to our school with a gun, and the police actually caught him on his way to the school armed witha a gun, and we can obviously guess he was going to make good on his threat. The public never learned of theat incident. When the staff was told the following day, many of us were outraged. Think about it. Schools are not unfallible places. The school I worked at had 1500 students and about 8 separate buildings. This means there is movement outside the buildings constantly, as staff members, we didn't all know each other. There were gates that were easily penetratable from the outside. I went home the night after I found this news out and I was horrified. We of course were instructed not to talk to anyone about this, especially the students, but it made me really worry about them. These students, little babies, first graders, were in my care, and something like this could happen. Anyone who has dealt with children in mass quantities will tell you hysteria..., I thought about what I could do with them if it happened again. How many could I fit into the bathroom? How many could hide behind my bookshelves? How many could I pop through the small window I had? I take my job seriously and love all of my students. The thought of something bad happening to them because they are not prepared for something we all know is just as much of a threat as a kiddnapping terrifies me. We tell them what to do in that instance and we practice it. Maybe these teachers didn't do this in the best of ways, but I believe their hearts were in the right place. It should have been talked about ahead of time and it should have taken place at the school.

Please remember, that those of us who go into teaching, do it because we enjoy children. We love our jobs. We certainl;y don't get paid the most, or recieve commendations for all of the work we do. If anything, a stellar teacher can be brought down by one wrong decision (or one viewed as wrong) when they were doing what they thought was best. Take the time to go to your kids classroom, meet their teachers, offer to help out for a day, and you will not believe how different your attitude towards them will be. And believe it or not, they always need your help!

Just caring about your kids!

Anonymous said...

if this had been done on an airline, even tough not true , the federal goverment, would not have looked at it as a drill or whatever, u would have been taken into custody, and hauled off to jail,,or have yelled this anywhere in public,,---- somebody with a gun---- if that would have been yelled,, and found to be untrue, that person would be in big trouble with the law,, and rightly so,, i think it was bad judgement used by the staff and should be reprimanded accordingly,,

Amy said...

Oh my gosh! I cannot believe any teacher would have such a serious lapse of judgement! who knows what trauma these children experienced because of this very foolish action. There should definitely be some disciplinary action taken and they should never be allowed to chaperone a field trip again!!

J.R. said...

UPDATE:

NEWS RELEASE
MURFREESBORO CITY SCHOOLS
SCHOOL/COMMUNITY RELATIONS OFFICE




FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: CHERYL HARRIS
May 14, 2007 615.893.2313 (OFFICE)
615.668-5138 (CELL)

Disciplinary Action Announced by Director of Schools



Director of Schools Marilyn Mathis has suspended lead teacher, Mr. Quentin Mastin, and assistant principal, Don Bartch, for unprofessional conduct and neglect of duty due to actions taken with Scales Elementary School students on May 10, 2007 at Fall Creek Falls State Park. The suspension is without pay and will commence on May 14, 2007 and continue through the end of this school year ending June 1, 2007.

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