The Alfa College in Hoogeveen will conduct a drill to teach students how to respond during a school shooting.
Translation by Traci White
UPDATE: 4:48 p.m., Monday, 11 June
Dagblad van het Noorden reports that Alfa College has announced that the drill will be postponed to a later date. According to a statement from the school, media coverage of the drill would make it difficult for the students to concentrate during the exercise, which was scheduled to take place this week.
Original story follows below:
According to school director Jan Berend van Wijk, the likelihood of a school shooting occurring at some point in the Netherlands is increasing. RTV Drenthe reports that the announcement of the drill, which is scheduled for next week, caused a lot of uproar among students and parents: many felt that the drill was unnecessary scaremongering.
Van Wijk says that he stands by the plan. “Alfa College takes (social) safety seriously”, he wrote in a statement about the plans. “Unfortunately, we are hearing about school shootings in America with increasing frequency. In the Netherlands, the chances of a school shooting occurring at some point are very real. By carrying out this drill, we can practice our emergency response and protocol.”
The drill was created by students in the Alfa College’s Public Order and Safety programme and police officers. A police spokesperson told the NOS that this a perfectly normal exercise. “We carried out a similar drill at NHL in Leeuwarden last year. There was a special police squad present during that drill, too. This is a very basic drill: we will carry it out in three different buildings, and it will only last 15 minutes each time.”