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Intense TV promotion for news report on school invasions raises questions

The Tampa Tribune
Published:   |   Updated: March 21, 2013 at 05:13 AM
TAMPA -

A gunman bursts into a high school classroom, shouting and firing off an automatic weapon. A young woman pleads for her life and appears to be gunned down.

It's a shocking and disturbing beginning for a television commercial promoting a special report airing at 11 tonight and Tuesday night on 10 News (WTSP, Channel 10) in which anchor Reginald Roundtree shows students ways to fight back during a school invasion.

The dramatic promotional video has generated some telephone calls and e-mail from viewers concerned over the intensity of the commercial, says WTSP News Director Peter Roghaar.

He says the special report, "School Attack: Should Students Fight Back?," includes a simulation of an attack. The students are from various drama classes and are acting out a scenario, he adds. It was not taped at a school but at a training facility, he added.

"It's about a controversial subject of whether students should fight back or duck and cover and hide under their desks," he says.

Following 1999 student killings at Columbine High School in Colorado and Virginia Tech shootings in 2007, some self-defense experts recommended that people facing attackers should fight back.

Roghaar says self defense expert Bob Laronga coached Roundtree on the methods used to fight back. "This looks at a worse case scenario in which some experts say that there might be fewer injured if some fight back," he says.


wbelcher@tampatrib.com (813) 259-7654

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