DENVER (CBS4) – As the nation’s two largest teachers’ unions call for changes in the way schools conduct active shooter drills, some Colorado lawmakers are considering legislation addressing the drills. From lawmakers to teachers to parents, several groups have begun questioning whether the drills do more harm than good.
Candice Ferguson says her daughter was traumatized by an active shooter drill when she was in kindergarten.
“She wouldn’t get on the bus. We would have to drive her to school and peel her off of us crying and screaming.”
Ferguson, a mother of three kids, is worried about the long term psychological impact of school shooting drills.
“Is there a way to do it that doesn’t inflict a lasting trauma on kids? I hope so,” she said.
Rep. Dafna Michaelson Jenet chaired the state legislature’s School Safety Interim Committee where the issue came up.
“There are a number people that are looking into this right now and trying figure out what is the best way.”
She says legislation addressing school shooting drills is in discussion.
“We understand the value of drills. Nobody has died in a fire at schools since we started doing these fire drills, but at what point does the drill become part of the problem?”
Michaelson Jenet says lawmakers are especially concerned about the frequency and realistic nature of some drills and those are among the issues they could address in legislation.
“I think our schools are looking for guidance and direction here.”
In addition to preparation, she’s working on prevention. She’s fought for more social and emotional support for kids at risk and those like Brennan Ferguson who worry their school is next.
Candice says, “If we can have legislation that actually supports them before get to crisis mode, that’s ideal.”