School Freaks Out Its Parents for No Logical Reason

w.f. burns

What on earth was the Principal thinking? Firstly, this dumb idea encourages children to fight gunmen with baked beans cans instead of running for cover, and secondly, it encourages parents to panic about a scenario that is both remote and strictly hypothetical.


A US high school has asked parents to arm their children with cans of food as part of its response plan against gun-armed intruders.

School officials from W.F. Burns Middle School in Valley, Alabama, wrote a letter to students’ parents, asking them to buy their children “an 8 oz canned food item (corn, beans, peas etc.) to use in case an intruder enters the classroom”.

“We hope the canned food items will never be used or needed, but it is best to be prepared.”

The strategy was inspired by the ALICE Training Institute, a company founded by a former police officer and a former primary school principal.

The institute follows the mantra of: Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter and Evacuate, and the cans of food are only a small — but still important — part of the whole procedure, school officials wrote.

“We realise at first this may seem odd; however, it is a practice that would catch an intruder off-guard,” the letter read.

“The canned food item could stun the intruder or even knock him out until the police arrive. The canned food item will give the students a sense of empowerment to protect themselves and will make them feel secure in case an intruder enters the classroom.”

Since the letter was sent out, it has been shared thousands of times, with some questioning its effectiveness.

But Chambers County School Superintendent Kelli Moore Hodge told CNN via email that the point of the training “is to be able to get kids evacuated and not be sitting ducks hiding under desks”.

Since the year 2000, the US has suffered through more than 100 school shootings, including the horrific 2012 Sandy Hook massacre, which claimed the lives of 27 people, 18 of them children.


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4 Responses to “School Freaks Out Its Parents for No Logical Reason”

  1. ketaninkorea Says:

    Reblogged this on So, You Think You Can Teach ESL? and commented:
    This is bizarre.

  2. kedavis99 Says:

    When my last school did intruder training with the county sherriff’s department we were told to not only get kids down but to block the door with as much furniture as we could to make it difficult to enter/get past. We were also told it’s not a bad idea to hand out those huge textbooks to kids to throw, as well as keeping in mind where your large can of Lysol is that you can use to spray in the intruder’s face or hit them with it. I think having the discussion with high school and possibly middle school students about how they can be prepared to do more than just hide can be empowering, it could also be terrifying. This request for canned goods just seems odd, especially since most every classroom has something they could use. Personally I have two cabinets full of computer speakers of all sizes no longer being used.

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