Officials react to Illinois school's 'active shooting' drill

CREATED Jan. 30, 2013

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MILWAUKEE - Local education officials are reacting to a controversial drill held at an Illinois high school.

Cary-Grove High School conducted an 'active shooter' drill on Wednesday that included someone firing blanks from a gun in the hallway.

"It's a little bit over the top," said Peter Pochowski, executive director of Wisconsin School Safety Coordinators Association.  Pochowski is also a former director of security at Milwaukee Public Schools.  "I believe in pushing the envelope, but I don't believe in shocking the system."

Some parents were upset with the school's decision.  Pochowski said any drill should include parental input.

A former superintendent told me in an email: "I would recommend preparedness drills but not drills that resemble reenactments."

Whether you like them or not, these types of drills are necessary and will become more commonplace, according to Pochowski. 

"It breaks your heart, but this is the way things have to be," he said.

Pochowski referenced a 1958 school fire in Chicago that killed scores of students.  Parents were shocked when officials recommended implementing fire drills in the aftermath of the fire. 

Now fire drills are a part of standard procedure.  Shooting drills are sure to follow.