High School Teacher Assigns Movie-Plot Threat Contest Problem
A high school teacher who assigned her class to plan a terrorist attack that would kill as many innocent people as possible had no intent to promote terrorism, the school principal said yesterday.
The Year-10 students at Kalgoorlie-Boulder Community High School were asked to pretend they were terrorists making a political statement by releasing a chemical or biological agent on “an unsuspecting Australian community”.
The task included choosing the best time to attack and explaining their choice of victims and what effects the attack would have on a human body.
“Your goal is to kill the MOST innocent civilians,” the assignment read.
Principal Terry Martino said he withdrew the assignment for the class on contemporary conflict and terrorism as soon as he heard of it. He said the teacher was “relatively inexperienced” and it was a “well-intentioned but misguided attempt to engage the students”.
Sounds like me:
It is in this spirit I announce the (possibly First) Movie-Plot Threat Contest. Entrants are invited to submit the most unlikely, yet still plausible, terrorist attack scenarios they can come up with.
Your goal: cause terror. Make the American people notice. Inflict lasting damage on the U.S. economy. Change the political landscape, or the culture. The more grandiose the goal, the better.
Assume an attacker profile on the order of 9/11: 20 to 30 unskilled people, and about $500,000 with which to buy skills, equipment, etc.
For the record, 1) I have no interest in promoting terrorism—I’m not even sure how I could promote terrorism without actually engaging in terrorism, 2) I’m pretty experienced, and 3) my movie-plot threat contests are not misguided. You can’t understand security defense without also understanding attack.
Australian police are claiming the assignment was illegal, so Australians who enter my movie-plot threat contests should think twice. Also anyone writing a thriller novel about terrorism, perhaps.
An AFP spokeswoman said it was an offence to collect or make documents preparing for or assisting a terrorist attack.
It was also illegal to be “reckless as to whether these documents may assist or prepare for a terrorist attack”.