Kids attending summer school in Zacatecas are learning math, Spanish, drawing and … how to dodge bullets.
Primary school-aged children attending the “My Vacation in the Library” program in the city of Fresnillo recently put their books and pencils down to learn what to do should they find themselves caught in the crossfire of a gunbattle. Municipal police officers taught the class, which included a simulated shootout during which the kids put their newfound knowledge to use.
A video posted to social media shows kids dropping to the floor and lying on their chests as fake gunshots ring out. Summer school teachers assist the students while the police officers watch and offer advice. The teachers sing during the drill, apparently to calm the students down.
There was a mixed reaction to the bullet-dodging tutorial on social media, with some internet users criticizing the course and others saying that sadly such instruction is needed.
En Fresnillo, enseñan a niños en curso de verano a cómo actuar ante una balacera. pic.twitter.com/hybCOGpy0K
— Contacto Informativo (@vaskezomar302) August 13, 2022
“It shouldn’t be [necessary] but under the circumstances in which we live in Mexico, it might be a good thing to know what to do in a similar situation,” one Twitter user said. “I’m speechless. How terrifying! But it’s our Mexican reality,” said another.
A statistic reported by the El Universal newspaper provides support for those who believe there is a need to teach kids what to do if they find themselves in a place where bullets are whizzing through the air: four boys and girls have been killed in crossfire in Fresnillo this year.
In addition to participating in the shootout drill, the summer school attendees took part in an activity in which they pretended they were police or forensic experts inspecting a crime scene. They collected mock evidence and cordoned off an area where a hypothetical abduction occurred, according to a report by the Infobae news website. Through the role-play, students learned ways in which they can help prevent the crime of kidnapping.
Located 60 kilometers north of Zacatecas city, Fresnillo has been plagued by violent crime in recent years. Mayor Saúl Monreal said last year that “the municipality has been overtaken” by organized crime activity.
“The municipality does not have much capacity [to deal with crime]. I have said so a thousand and one times,” he said in January 2021.
According to a recent public security survey, two-thirds of adult residents of Fresnillo feel unsafe in their city.