Penn-Trafford School District

School Condemned For Allowing Active Shooter Drill Gunman To Wear Arabic Headdress

A Pennsylvania school district has come under fire after a video emerged showing an active shooter drill confucted inside a school in which the "gunman" donned a traditional Middle Eastern headdress, Scary Mommy reported.

Preparing students in the event of an gunman entering their school is an unfortunate reality, particularly in the US.

Unsplash | Element5 Digital

According to CNN, so far in 2019 there have been a total of 15 school shootings in America in which someone was killed or injured.

Most recently, two students armed with guns entered a Denver high school.

Hyoung Chang, The Denver Post

According to the Denver Post, the shooters attended the STEM School Highlands Ranch.

On May 7, they opened fire inside the school, killing one and injuring eight others.

Now more than ever, schools are encouraged to prepare their students in the event of an active shooter entering their school.

Unsplash | NeONBRAND

According to Education Week, many schools teach students the traditional response of locking classroom doors and waiting for police to arrive to confront the shooter.

Some are also training students on distracting and confusing the shooter, if the assailant gets too close for them to safely hide.

In January, a school outside of Pittsburgh held an active shooter drill which was filmed and produced by students.

Penn-Trafford School District

In the video, a gunman (played by a male teacher) can be seen wandering the halls of the school, dressed in a long blond wig and dark zip-up sweatshirt with a paintball mask over his face.

The gunman also appears to be wearing a keffiyeh, the traditional Arab formal headdress.

After clips of the video have emerged and circulated on the internet, people are calling out the school district for perpetuating stereotypes and giving students the impression that Muslims pose a threat to their safety at school.

The Islamic community in Pittsburg has spoken out against the Penn-Trafford School District

Facebook | Islamic Center Of Pittsburgh

"To stereotype the shooter is appalling given the data on active shooters and the recent shootings at the Tree of Life and Christ Church,” Elaine Linn, board secretary of the Islamic Center of Pittsburgh, told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

“The action of Penn-Trafford puts our community of over 10,000 Muslims in the greater Pittsburgh area in great harm.”

In response to the backlash, the school district has claimed there was no intentional of stereotyping during the drill.

Unsplash | chuttersnap

“These volunteers were provided costumes and accessories by the consultant group to alter their appearance so that they were not readily recognizable by their co-workers,” the district said in a statement. “There was no intent to represent any particular culture or religion.”

The security company who staged the drill have also come forward to say the gunman was wearing a regular scarf on his head.

Unsplash | Kelly Sikkema

"He completely, innocently converted it to that," John Sakoian, president and founder of Command Excellence, told Scary Mommy. "It’s not just a Muslim headdress. It was a neck scarf."

However, Sakoian also admitted the scarf was never supposed to be a part of the costume and was not authorized by the company. He maintains that those behind the video are "good people" and that "nobody tried to do anything to offend anybody."

h/t: Scary Mommy

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