Another story from the UK about teachers playing mind games with students. In the past couple of years or so there have been several stories of English schools creating scenarios -- presented as being real -- of crashed or landed UFOs on school property, complete with local police arriving on the scene. One school had a crashed UFO scene along with claws and body parts of the 'dead alien,' along with the news that a teacher had been abducted by the aliens. ( see also my UK Still Staging UFO Crash Drills.)
Not all of these scenes were about UFOs. A teacher in Scotland told several students to quickly get their things together because they were being picked up and possibly sent off to an orphanage. Students were told their parents knew about this and had given permission for their children to be taken away:
Deputy head teacher Elizabeth McGlynn segregated nine pupils and told them they were to be sent away. After 15 minutes they were told it was all an act but that the role play would carry on up to lunchtime.The students were told they had to be segregated because they had "lower IQs" due to a "lack of sunglight in their mother's wombs."
In a letter sent to council bosses, the unnamed mother said: 'Mrs McGlynn told the children they would probably have to be sent away from their families and that their parents had been informed about this and knew all about it.
Another staged event: the "murder" of a teacher on school grounds, which, naturally, severely upset students. Still another staged an "assault" on one of the female school employees, complete with fake blood on the ground.
In most of these cases, if not all, parents were not notified that these little scenes were going to take place, permission asked from parents. Sometimes, the scenes were enacted while parents were there as volunteers at their schools.
Yesterday, news from the UK of a school who told students that London was under attack; World War III had broken out. The students were not just told this; they were shown footage from the Blitz in WWII and a tape of "Neville Chamberlain's war address" was played over the PA system to simulate real time news about "WWIII." Then, students were taken by teachers to a basement to hide:
Teachers then led them to a cellar when an air raid siren sounded and a firework was let off to simulate a bomb.Headmaster Mike Richards is quoted as saying, many times over, that the exercise was to make students "sympathetic" to war victims. Studying WWll, the thinking behind this staged stunt was that students would really get it, since apparently Richards believed students were incapable of believing their teachers:
'The idea of it was to get the children to empathise with what it was like. "The big concern we had was that the children wouldn't believe it.Parents were angry and upset, students scared and confused.
In all of these staged events there are shared elements. The plot may differ: UFOs, government officials taking you away, murder, war, but they all contain the following:
An element of violent surprise.
Authority figures assumed to be trusted and respected (teachers,school staff, police) carry out these fake events.
Parents are not notified that these events are planned; permission is not asked for.
The local police are often involved; appearing on the scene, pretending to take part.
Specific character traits and emotional states are the target of these scenes:sympathy,empathy,feeling emotions, compliance, unquestioning volunteerism/work.
The rationale for given by schools for these events vary: sometimes it's to foster creative thinking and expression, in this case, make it real so students believe it. In other words: real (as far as students and parents know) events of a violent, unexpected and even bizarre (UFOs) nature are to be fully, completely believed, lived, accepted and experienced.
In the WWIII scenario, the headmaster said the goal was to get students to sympathize with war victims. The Scottish school said they wanted "the children to experience an accurate emotional response."
Foxhill Primary school, where the fake assault on a female staff member was staged, justified their performance with the two layered rationale for these scenes; fostering creativity:
We wanted to give the pupils a topic that would inspire their creativity and their imaginations which is why the crime scene was chosen.And unquestioning acceptance of authority and compliance, as well as overall moulding of state sanctioned character traits:
"This was also done to raise pupils' aspirations and to reinforce a positive view of the police and the work they do in the community.Who is observing these reactions of children, and why? It is not coincidence; these scenes are part of a larger agenda. Individual teachers may think they are doing something creative and different for their students, but the curriculum and the nudges to enact it are coming from somewhere else, and for specific reasons. A desensitizing program; get children to feel comfortable with the abrupt intrusions of authorities, of violence, of the unexpected. But it goes beyond that; even more insidious is the trauma factor.
If students (and parents, by extension) are told that all these purposeful staged events are to foster trust in authority, that contradicts the fact the authority has just come in and lied to everyone. The message is: 'It's fake this time, but just you wait, next time it might not be. And we're the only ones around who can determine that." Keep people nervous, jumping with anxiety, never knowing when the next assault, war, murder, or invading aliens will come.