Monday, October 16, 2006

Teaching kids to fight back against classroom invaders

"Youngsters in a suburban Fort Worth, Texas, school district are being taught not to sit there like good boys and girls with their hands folded if a gunman invades the classroom, but to rush him and hit him with everything they've got -- books, pencils, legs and arms."

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Once upon a time, potential victims learned that the best way to survive an incident of violence was to comply with the evil person's wishes. We were taught that a rapist would say, "If you scream, I'm going to kill you," and as long as we went along quietly, we would probably survive the ordeal. We were further taught that if a hijacker took over our plane, we should just stay in our seats, be calm and wait until the bad, bad people told us we could move. And again, we had a good shot at surviving.

The world has changed. Rape is still a crime of violence, but rapists just don't get enough jollies from just an ordinary emotionless rape anymore; now they need to maim, torture and/or kill, partly to assuage some violent need and partly to protect themselves (they think) from prosecution. I lost my innocense about the 'lie there and let it happen' school of victimhood when a rapist killed one of my college sorority sisters just off campus. I am no hero, but I will not be a passive victim, either.

And 9/11 taught us that hijackers often have their own violent death wishes, so although fighting back may still end up in a violent end, at least we have an opportunity to control it.

And so now we have school shootings. Violent loons wander into schools, tell a classroom full of kids that if they follow instructions nobody will get hurt, then kill 'em anyway. In one Texas school system, at least, the kids are not going to take the statement at face value. It's sad that kids have to lose their innocence in this way, that we live in a world where people commit this kind of violence. But we do, and burying our heads in the sand won't make these violent loons go away.


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