SWAT team performs realistic hijacking drill on school bus filled with children

Cop dressed as a terrorist takes over school bus and ties up kids with duct tape

A police officer dresses as a terrorist and wields a rifle in a realistic school bus hijacking drill (Source: ABC 13)

A police officer dresses as a terrorist and wields a rifle in a realistic school bus hijacking drill (Source: ABC 13)

ROSSFORD, OH — Police staged a realistic hijacking of a school bus — with children on board — in order to allow a SWAT team to perform an explosion-packed rescue drill.  The occupants of the bus were unaware of the details of the drill, for added terror and realism.

“I didn’t know what was going on, because at the start he was just a normal person and then he pulled out a gun and a mask, and put it all on,” said teen Justin Klocko to ABC 13 News. “Then he started tying everybody down and it just got really scary.”

A SWAT team enters a school bus with guns drawn (Source: ABC 13)

A SWAT team enters a school bus with guns drawn (Source: ABC 13)

While the bus was in transit under the control of an armed, mask-wearing hijacker, a large crowd of school teachers and administrators sat in an audience observing the terror through a video feed.  The bus ultimately pulled into the parking lot of Owens Center for Emergency Preparedness, where the crowd resided and the SWAT team was prepared to burst in with guns drawn to subdue the hijacker.

“I just do what he says, gotta stay calm,” said one young girl riding the school bus.

A concussion grenade exploded as the mask-wearing SWAT team entered the bus to stop the terrorist.

SWAT subdues the mock hijacker (Source: ABC 13)

SWAT subdues the mock hijacker (Source: ABC 13)

“Every driver, administrator, will take something away from this,” said Jeff Culler, the Rossford Schools Transportation Director, to ABC 13 News. He continued, “Wow, this could happen on my bus.”

One student claimed the exercise made her feel good knowing that when the real thing does happen, “there are people who will be there to stop it.”

A video of the drill is available here.

Are drills like these an appropriate measure to keep children safe?  Or are they simply a way for a police department to justify having a paramilitary SWAT team, and a way to condition dozens of school staff and children to live in fear of terrorism and acceptance of their government saviors?

UPDATE:  Police Chief Glenn Goss has asked that a clarification be made about the students involved.  He points out that school was not in session on the day of the drill, and that waivers had been signed regarding participation in the drill.  However, as previously reported, students were not made aware of the details of the drill, for added realism.  His comment is posted below.

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322 Comments to “SWAT team performs realistic hijacking drill on school bus filled with children”

  1. A MESSAGE FROM GLENN GOSS, CHIEF OF POLICE, ROSSFORD, OHIO REGARDING YOUR POST (BELOW) OF CHILDREN ON A BUS…

    Thank you for your concern for the students and children within our school district and community. I too would be concerned for any child who unwittingly was held hostage, tied up and threatened at gunpoint. The problem is: none of this happened.

    This was a well planned training exercise in which all participants (children and bus driver included) knew well in advance that they were participating in a training exercise to prepare for such an event to take place – which is very possible in our world today.

    Each student and participant signed waivers that acknowledged their participation in this training. Unfortunately, some of the information released to the media portrayed this as an event in which police and school officials took advantage of innocent children who had no idea that this was a mock incident. This is not true. As stated previously, EVERYONE was well aware that this was a training exercise for school personnel, students, law enforcement and the public.

    The Rossford Police Department is very proud to be part of a community that prepares for such incidents, even though we hope we never encounter them. Our proactive approach to counter-terrorism, active killers and other such incidents hopefully will save lives in the future…especially the lives of our children.

    Please feel free to forward this message along to all of those who have found it necessary to chastise this training exercise without first asking questions and gathering facts – as your information is wrong. You may also want to note that today (August 19th) was the first day of school and the day of the training exercise was last Wednesday (August 14th) so we would have no children riding buses other than for this training exercise in which they voluntarily participated in.

    I would also like to share with you that the youth pictured on the website is the son of a Sheriff’s Dispatcher who, again, was well aware of the training.

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