Pennsylvania high school under fire for controversial 'active shooter' video
A Pennsylvania high school has come under fire for a controversial video meant to teach students how to handle an active shooter situation, KDKA reports.
Students in the audio-visual department at Penn Trafford High School in Harrison City produced a video that featured a shooter wearing a keffiyeh, a traditional Middle Eastern headdress. The school district said that the footage was only supposed to be seen in-house, but the students posted it on Facebook, angering some viewers.
One person said he felt the person who portrayed the shooter was made to look like a Muslim and voiced his displeasure.
"It shouldn't be profiling somebody like that," Jim Atkins, who lives in Harrison City, told the station.
Trinity Garbacz, a junior at the high school, agreed, adding that the video could have been done in better taste.
"I just thought that maybe they could have used a normal person not to offend anyone," she said. "Like, you could have used anyone. You didn't have to dress him up."
The school district the video also featured other costumes, including a blonde wig, a scarf, a paintball or tactical mask, a zip-up sweatshirt and pants. In a statement, it insisted that the video wasn't meant to offend anyone.
"This unofficial release of the video has caused some in the community to question the District's actions in performing the drill," it said. "As indicated above, the active shooter drill conducted at [Penn Trafford] did not intend to represent any particular culture or religion as the shooters."
Officials went on to say that they believe in "diversity and inclusion."
"[Penn Trafford] prides itself on instilling respect for others, in its students and staff and has conducted numerous trainings on cultural diversity," a press release said. "The District strongly believes in diversity and inclusion and strives to provide its students an educational environment reflective of the world community."