Guest Post by Mara Zebest
This story flew under the radar when originally posted last month (August 14, 2013), but still warrants attention even if a month late. A so-called “training exercise” in Rossford, Ohio, in which government SWAT team members terrorized young students into believing their school bus was being hijacked.
ABC13 reports the following:
ROSSFORD, Ohio – A training exercise this Rossford Wednesday morning left students literally hanging on to the edge of their seats.
In the scenario: A school bus is en route to an event when suddenly it’s hijacked! A camera inside the bus captured the whole thing while an audience of school teachers, administrators and transportation directors watched it all unfold on a live feed.
The hijacker even tied some of the students up and told them to keep their heads down. The bus eventually ended up at Owens Center for Emergency Preparedness. That’s where first responders and SWAT teams were ready to move in.
“Every driver, administrator will take something away from this saying that this could actually happen on my bus. That’s what our focus was. This could happen on any bus”, says Jeff Culler, Rossford Schools Transportation Director
Organizers say planning for the drill began in May.
This story brings an interview to mind in which the family members of deceased SEAL Team Six were being interviewed by Matt Lauer. Around the 2:15 minute marker, the father of Aaron Vaughn expressed an idea his son was taught in SEAL training [paraphrasing]:
“There’s three kinds of people in the world: Sheep dogs, sheep, and wolves [...] the sheep dogs always see the warning. They see it black and white. They see it clearly. The sheep—most of us are sheep—we don’t usually see it. And there are some wolves out there,” [that prey upon the sheep].
Shouldn’t American school systems strive to teach our children how to be sheep dogs rather than sheep?
Just a thought—but wouldn’t it have been a more fruitful learning experience if the students were told it was an exercise and then had a self-defense instructor on board explaining options at every given point—for students to consider and apply in protecting themselves and others? You know—a teachable moment—and that whole concept of personal responsibility? Like being aware of suspicious individuals before getting on the bus. Or self-defense moves once on the bus. To use role model examples, like the American heroes that declared “Let’s roll” before tackling the terrorists on 9/11 (thus saving lives by altering the terrorists’ agenda). How many hijackings since then have been averted by everyday citizens acting in the moment to jump on and restrain the terrorist? The TSA didn’t save us from the underwear or shoe bomber—ordinary citizens did.
The students should be taught what “they”—the “individual“—can do to take control of the situation. Instead, the media reports that the children should react like “deer in headlights” because the focus was that “This could happen on any bus.” WTH?