Children can be Mentally Scarred when told they may be Shot to Death

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jewish_scientist
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Children can be Mentally Scarred when told they may be Shot to Death

Postby jewish_scientist » Fri Feb 15, 2019 2:49 am UTC

The Atlantic" wrote:Lake Brantley High School, in Florida, initiated a “code red” lockdown. “This is not a drill,” a voice announced over the PA system... Many [students] sobbed hysterically, others vomited or fainted, and some sent farewell notes to parents. A later announcement prompted a stampede in the cafeteria, as students fled the building and jumped over fences to escape. Parents flooded 911 with frantic calls.

Later it was revealed, to the fury of parents, teachers, and students, that in fact this was a drill, the most realistic in a series of drills that the students of Lake Brantley, like students across the country, have lately endured...

As James Hamblin wrote... 'Studies of whether active-shooter drills actually prevent harm are all but impossible. Case studies are difficult to parse. In Parkland, for example, the site of the recent shooting, Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, had an active-shooter drill just [a] month [before the massacre]. The shooter had been through such drills. Purposely countering them may have been a reason that, as he was beginning his rampage, the shooter pulled a fire alarm.'


The article also points out that these drills are like the "Duck and Cover" campaign during the Cold War; a complete waste of resources that in no way actually prepares students for the incredibly unlikely threat. Personally, I think both of these things happen because society wants to do something to help deal with important issues like nuclear weapons and gun violence, but lacks resolve to actually do the work, so instead it does the easy and completely ineffective in order to comfort itself by saying, 'At least we did something'. You know how sometimes politicians will make a token effort on a complex issue to try and trick voters into thinking that they are actually helping? That is what is happening, except it is society in general tricking itself into thinking that it is helping.

P.S. What's the point of saying, "This is not a drill," when it is a drill. If that phrase is used both when it is and when it is not a drill than it is not conveying any information.
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idonno
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Re: Children can be Mentally Scarred when told they may be Shot to Death

Postby idonno » Fri Feb 15, 2019 3:21 am UTC

jewish_scientist wrote:P.S. What's the point of saying, "This is not a drill," when it is a drill. If that phrase is used both when it is and when it is not a drill than it is not conveying any information.
It is hard to believe that no one involved in this plan had ever heard the story of the boy who cried wolf.


Off topic about duck and cover:
Spoiler:
jewish_scientist wrote:The article also points out that these drills are like the "Duck and Cover" campaign during the Cold War; a complete waste of resources that in no way actually prepares students for the incredibly unlikely threat.

That campaign is nowhere near as stupid as people make it out to be. The people in the direct blast area are dead no matter what so there is no point in worrying about what they should do so you look at the people in the dangerous but might actually survive zone. The two things they can do anything about are the blast wave which is going to shake buildings and bring down debris like an earth quake and the bright light that they really need to protect their eyes from. Duck, cover, get under desks, etc... are all targeted at these issues. As for the probabilities, it is difficult even now to judge accurately how likely a nuclear strike was but if it had happened it would have been a major multi target affair with much higher casualty risks than school shooters.

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Re: Children can be Mentally Scarred when told they may be Shot to Death

Postby nicklikesfire » Fri Feb 15, 2019 2:41 pm UTC

idonno wrote:Off topic about duck and cover:
Spoiler:
That campaign is nowhere near as stupid as people make it out to be. The people in the direct blast area are dead no matter what so there is no point in worrying about what they should do so you look at the people in the dangerous but might actually survive zone. The two things they can do anything about are the blast wave which is going to shake buildings and bring down debris like an earth quake and the bright light that they really need to protect their eyes from. Duck, cover, get under desks, etc... are all targeted at these issues. As for the probabilities, it is difficult even now to judge accurately how likely a nuclear strike was but if it had happened it would have been a major multi target affair with much higher casualty risks than school shooters.


99PI just did a great podcast about this. https://99percentinvisible.org/episode/atomic-tattoos/

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Re: Children can be Mentally Scarred when told they may be Shot to Death

Postby solune » Fri Feb 15, 2019 6:09 pm UTC

Sometimes you need to run something that looks more like reality than the traditional fire drill, to study actual reactions. I know that if a real fire happened at my office, I would keep working until I smelled smoke, then take the time to bring all my belongings with me, and probably jump out of the window because I can't stand the noise of the fire alarm in the hall.

I love how aircraft manufacturing companies manage to simulate a realistic evacuation just by offering money to the first people to exit the plane

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Re: Children can be Mentally Scarred when told they may be Shot to Death

Postby jewish_scientist » Fri Feb 15, 2019 7:25 pm UTC

[quote="The AtlanticWe’ve been down this road before. In an escalating set of preparations for nuclear holocaust during the 1950s, the “duck and cover” campaign trained children nationwide to huddle under their desk in the case of a nuclear blast. Some students in New York City were even issued dog tags, to be worn every day, to help parents identify their bodies. Assessments of this period suggest that such measures contributed to pervasive fear among children, 60 percent of whom reported having nightmares about nuclear war.[/quote]
If that mental harm is worse than the benefit gained by hiding under a deck (something a good portion of children would do when in a scary situation without any training), then it does not even matter how likely a nuclear strike would be. Either way the program would have done more harm than good.
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Re: Children can be Mentally Scarred when told they may be Shot to Death

Postby ijuin » Fri Feb 15, 2019 10:24 pm UTC

However, the creation of such fear and paranoia did serve to advance the agenda of Cold War profiteers. . .

idonno
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Re: Children can be Mentally Scarred when told they may be Shot to Death

Postby idonno » Sat Feb 16, 2019 1:31 am UTC

Pulling a small fragment of data like that doesn't actually prove anything. How much damage does having nightmares actually cause? Is there any evidence that the number of nightmares were drastically increased or did it just influence the subject matter? Being afraid of something like nuclear war may well be better for the world than random fears. The people raised in that environment have helped oversee decades of nuclear disarmament.

Your argument against doing something that causes fear relies on the kids being afraid. Even if 100% of kids had that response to something scary by the time something scary happens, it is too late. You can't assert that kids' fear response is enough when there won't be anything to trigger it. You have to train them to respond with fear so why not include the proper response as well.

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Re: Children can be Mentally Scarred when told they may be Shot to Death

Postby ijuin » Sat Feb 16, 2019 2:34 pm UTC

The long-term problen is that making the children fearful may lead to some of them being in a state of perpetual fear where they lose the ability to function or start distrusting adults in general, or conversely that they get “fear fatigue” and simply shut down their fear response entirely in all situations.

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Re: Children can be Mentally Scarred when told they may be Shot to Death

Postby SecondTalon » Sun Feb 17, 2019 1:27 am UTC

What would the psychological reaction for a generation (or two) be when raised in a world with a solid belief that instant death can happen with little to no warning at any time, erasing life as we know it on the planet after a furious exchange of nuclear weaponry?
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Re: Children can be Mentally Scarred when told they may be Shot to Death

Postby idonno » Sun Feb 17, 2019 4:20 am UTC

Given that this started over 60 years ago, I think if no one can produce any major psychological divergence those generations had, the most likely answer is about the same as other common environments.

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Re: Children can be Mentally Scarred when told they may be Shot to Death

Postby ijuin » Sun Feb 17, 2019 5:04 am UTC

SecondTalon wrote:What would the psychological reaction for a generation (or two) be when raised in a world with a solid belief that instant death can happen with little to no warning at any time, erasing life as we know it on the planet after a furious exchange of nuclear weaponry?

We have mostly achieved “fear fatigue” on that issue—we now more or less ignore the threat except for short periods when it looks especially probable that an attack may happen.

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Re: Children can be Mentally Scarred when told they may be Shot to Death

Postby EdgarJPublius » Sun Feb 17, 2019 3:40 pm UTC

'Fear Fatigue' is definitely not how I would describe the current state of the U.S., where people seem to be increasingly afraid of ever more unlikely threats.
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Re: Children can be Mentally Scarred when told they may be Shot to Death

Postby Dauric » Sun Feb 17, 2019 6:16 pm UTC

EdgarJPublius wrote:'Fear Fatigue' is definitely not how I would describe the current state of the U.S., where people seem to be increasingly afraid of ever more unlikely threats.


Being afraid of ever more unlikely threats is a result of 'fear fatigue' however. Marketing frequently tries to trigger anxiety ("Your manhood is at risk if you don't use Product X"). Political marketing also trades on fear, be it commies, recession, terrorists, immigrant hordes, the list goes on.

When the public is so inured of the latest terror-spectacle the people running the marketing for their employing politicians (and keep in mind Trump is his own marketing department), they have to find the next source of public fear to claim their employer is the new remedy to.

When all the rational fears have been exhausted the marketers have to go looking for less rational fears that they can get a reaction out of.
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