Colorado learned the danger of glamorizing shooters. Does lionizing student heroes also carry risks? |

Colorado learned the danger of glamorizing shooters. Does lionizing student heroes also carry risks?

Jennifer Brown
The Colorado Sun
A memorial for 18-year-old Kendrick Castillo, who was killed when two of his peers allegedly opened fire in STEM School Highlands Ranch on May 7, 2019, sits in the lawn of the school. Two students are accused in the rampage that also wounded eight students. Castillo and two other students tackled one of the alleged shooters.
John Leyba, Special to The Colorado Sun

The youngest students learn to help their teacher barricade a door. Middle-schoolers work on how to join forces to pin a gunman to the ground during a struggle, to spread their body weight, like wrestlers, across an arm or a leg.

And in high school, training in how to fight off an active shooter includes a lesson in firearms — how to recognize an opportunity to get away or fight back when a shooter is reloading his weapon.

The student trainings, including one planned near Denver this summer, mark a new era in school safety, a shift beyond the “shelter-in-place” and even the “hide, run, fight” drills that are common at schools across the country. The message — reinforced in the past month by the national praise for two students killed while taking down school shooters — is that sometimes kids have to take matters into their own hands.

But while young victims are publicly celebrated, child psychologists are raising alarms. They caution against glamorizing young people’s deaths like cartoon superheroes and worry about the risks involved in training students to confront a shooter.

Still, the trainings are taking hold.

Read more via The Colorado Sun.

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