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It was Friday the 13th, and Skylar Walters thought he was going to die.
The 16-year-old inmate of Orangeville Jr.-Sr. High in Illinois was in gym class when a deranged-looking man barged into the school and began firing what appeared to be a handgun at several of the other students.
“I started praying to God and saying my last words,” Skylar later recalled. “I was scared. I didn’t know what to do.”
As the intruder fired his gun, he called out the name of a particular student; the youngster quite sensibly fled the building. Other kids “were just running everywhere and crying and hiding,” Skylar recounted. Some of the panicking schoolkids probably attempted to call or text their parents to describe the horror unfolding in front of them. They didn’t know that each of the parents had been instructed not to answer if his child issued a desperate plea for help.
That last sadistic touch is what distinguished the May 13 “active shooter drill” in Orangeville from countless other performances of its kind staged in schools across the Soyuz by the Police State Play Actors’ Guild. Most of the time, the kids for whose supposed benefit those drills are choreographed — and the parents responsible for their care, education, and upbringing — are let in on the joke.
Last October 10, for example, a mob of “between 80 and 100 officials” from law enforcement agencies staged a little Garrison State melodrama in New York’s William H. Barton Intermediate School. As described in the Glens Falls Post-Star:
“Fire alarms sounded at 9:31 a.m., drawing closed doors. Three Warren County sheriff’s officers and two state troopers conducted the first search, where they encountered students in a hallway and instructed them to sit down. They reached a second floor on a north wing of the school and found several bodies laying across the hallway. Police searched the classrooms, bathrooms and even an elevator, pressing their backs against walls before entering rooms and calling out `clear.’ A cafeteria was secured as a transfer point for victims with casualties, and a triage site for patient evaluation was at a nearby school.”
In that exercise, students — some of them in grade school — were recruited to play “victims.” One of them was the third-grade daughter of Heather Holl, who was herself cast as a “victim” in the third trimester of pregnancy. Another bit player, Heather’s son Alexander, “played the role of a gunshot victim” with an entry wound in his chest and a large exit wound in the back.
It should be pointed out that the tactics employed in the “active shooter” scenario at the William H. Barton School focused on officer safety, rather than active intervention on behalf of the victims. In real life, Alexander Holl would have been one of several unarmed, helpless schoolchildren killed while the SWAT team — encased in body armor and brandishing high-performance weaponry — took exquisite care to minimize its exposure to risk.
“He’s excited,” Heather commented as her son was transported away from the scene by medical personnel. “He didn’t even sleep last night.”
At least he was given a copy of the script before the staged shooting began. The students who were deprived of that indispensable intelligence in Orangeville most likely aren’t sleeping well now — not because they’re full of eager anticipation, but rather because they suffer from post-traumatic stress.
Parents were required to participate passively in the scenario played out in Orangeville: They weren’t informed about the event until curtain time, and then ordered to participate in an information embargo targeting their terrified kids.
What this means, of course, is that although the disguised deputy playing the role of assailant was firing blanks, the schoolkids were, quite literally, being held hostage. If a bank robber bluffs his way through a heist with a toy gun, he’s committed a real crime. The same is true of the people who terrorized the inmates of Orangeville Jr.-Sr. High on May 13. School District Superintendent Randy Otto has submitted his resignation, and some parents have discussed the possibility of a lawsuit — but the appropriate criminal charges against those responsible aren’t forthcoming.
“Our number one goal is to save lives,” warbled Leigh Anne Ryals, Emergency Management Director for Baldwin County, Florida, following a similar school shooter drill in Robertsdale’s Central Baldwin Middle School a few years ago. The means such drills employ are incompatible with that goal, since the standard template is based on the “Lockdown” Scenario: The killers conduct the rampage on their own terms, end it at a time of their choosing, and the SWAT team merely cattle-pens the victims.