Today I came across a couple of news articles relating to a disaster exercise that was carried out at an Inverness primary school.
As part of the exercise, pupils of the school were told that a month’s worth of rainfall had struck the Highland capital overnight. The problem was that the emergency services couldn’t come straight away, so they had to look after themselves and each other.
Organisers of the exercise also overturned classroom furniture and put cordons in place around the school, with a police officer in attendance and a teacher role playing that they had sustained a broken arm.
Parents are claiming that the exercise has left their children traumatised as they were handed no prior warning to the event.
Now I am sorry but in my opinion, if a disaster is going to strike for real, you aren’t going to have some friendly people going around telling everybody that it is going to happen. It will strike with no warning. Sorry if people disagree but some parents really need to get a grip.
Because of these parents, these are the kinds of children that will grow up and be completely unprepared when faced with a real crisis. They will freak out!
Head teacher Audrey Kellacher said:
The focus was not on what to do in the event of a flood, but to experience the sense of not having our rights fully met and what this would mean for us during the role play and also for other children around the world for whom this is a reality.
We continue to work closely with any parents and carers that expressed initial concerns to share this understanding of the entire learning experience and content, including our reasons for choosing not to share information on the work prior to the morning of the simulation.
Anna Kettley, director of programmes for Unicef, said:
There is an option throughout the event for children to opt out if at any point they are not enjoying it.
Following feedback from the pilot schools, Unicef will review our guidance on delivering this emergency simulation and revise any areas required.
The idea of these types of exercises are to help children to better understand the challenges faced during a real crisis. Sadly, some parents disagree and thing that the whole drill went too far. I would hate to see how these kinds of people deal with a real emergency.
So what do you think, was it a step too far? Join us on Twitter and let us hear your thoughts.