Shots, fear and fainting. Shocking anti-terror training in Pabianice school
School board in Łódź will look into the training for teachers that was carried out by former anti-terror officers in a school in Pabianice. Last Thursday (13 June) the school was raided by armed men who imitated a terrorist attack. "We will investigate where the idea for such training originated," said Łódź school superintendent.
The story was published "Życie Pabianic". According to the paper, a group of men armed with machine guns raided one of the classrooms in the School Complex No.3, where the teachers' council was taking place. The wore balaclavas and had keffiyehs tied around their necks. They were also wearing armour and military uniforms.
The attackers fired shots. One of them shouted: "Get down! Arms behind your head! Get under the table!" The other screamed: "Everyone under the tables! Hands behind your heads!". Paralyzed with fear, the teachers followed the orders. Some teachers cried and one even fainted. She required medical help. Police arrived at the scene.
It turned out that the attack was staged and was an element of training carried out by members of the Former Anti-Terror Police Officers Foundation (SPAP). The training was ordered by the school headmaster Agnieszka Kulpińska-Górska.
On Wednesday Łódź school board head Grzegorz Wierzchowski informed that the case of the training in Pabianice school will be looked into. He admitted that after the incident that took place in one of Warsaw schools, the headmasters were instructed to undertake certain activities that would increase the security of students. In May, in a school in Warsaw's Wawer district, a student was stabbed to death by another student. The 15-year-old suspect was taken to a juvenile detention centre.
"I don't know yet if the training was related to these instructions or from school's regularly planned practice. We will investigate the incident as we've never ordered anyone to carry out anti-terror training with the use of firearms or any other weapons. We will investigate where the idea for such training originated," Wierzchowski reassured.
Earlier on, the school headmaster told Radio Łódź that it wasn't her intention to upset the teachers. She added that the training was carried out to practice safety procedures that had been discussed with the Foundation which provided the general scenario for the event.
Agnieszka Kulpińska-Górska reassured that no one got hurt and no one reported any problems. She admitted, however, that the teachers had all rights to be scared. She said: "many crisis situations take place at schools and it's crucial to be able to act after being taken by surprise".
She stressed that after what had happened in other cities, she was told that such procedures must be practiced. As she said, even the ministry guidelines provide procedures for several dozens of situations. "These aren't things that you'd read before bedtime," she said.
The chairman of the SPAP Foundation Tomasz Łuczak confirmed that the training was agreed upon with the school director and that it was supposed to be carried out by surpise. "There must be the element of surprise, otherwise such training's pointless. Real villains wouldn't inform about the attack beforehand," he said. He underscored that it had been agreed that emotions would run high and "pulses would be raised".
He added that such practice is aimed to show how we really act and how we should act in danger. Łuczak underlined that the Foundation has been carrying out such training since 18 months in many other schools and they've never encountered any problems. "Only here in Pabianice, a tabloid has written what it has written". He also said that "the storm erupted here in Pabianice because many people are against the headmaster" and against himself.
According to the Foundation's website, it holds permission from the Minister of the Interior Affairs and Administration.