Boone Family Concerned Over Realistic Active Shooter Drill

BOONE, Iowa -- A Boone High School active shooter training scheduled for October 4 is being questioned by a family whose child attends the school.

The goal is to make it as real as possible, but a mother and her son say it’s going to be too real.

According to Kelly Yohnke, when the high school disclosed the fact there would be a realistic active shooter drill taking place they left out just how realistic it would be.

“There was nothing about blanks in police guns. It did say students were going to be used as actors and stuff but nothing about all this gore makeup” said Yohnke.

Kelly Yohnke says she got an inside glimpse at what the drill was to look like because her son Connor, a drama student, was asked to volunteer as a victim and came back with a detailed permission slip.  The slip said kids would be dressed up as dead and wounded students, and police would be using blanks in their firearms.

“I have friends who are counselors and therapists and I've talked to them; and one, they didn't believe it until I showed them everything I received; and then they're 'like do you know what type of preparation you have to do for research?' and basically you're using all the students in the school for research participants. They're children, you don't do this” said Yohnke.

Yohnke's son says he won’t be taking part.

“I feel like it's a little bit over the top. It's completely just...it's teaching desensitization towards violence” said Connor Vinchattle.

The school district did not immediately respond for comment, but did send an email to Yohnke when she raised her concerns. In it Superintendent Brad Manard says in part:

"It is a drill that has been conducted over the past years in multiple school districts throughout the state….We will have a debriefing with students at the evacuation site, and our counselors will be offering counseling opportunities for students. We believe this drill will allow us to be better prepared for a more safe response should a real even occur"

In a statement issued over the district's Facebook page Dr. Manard says the drill has been planned for over a year.

The district office says any student who does not wish to participate can opt out, but will have to provide their own transportation that day.