Let's talk school shootings

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Caesar753, Jan 23, 2018.

  1. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Jan 23, 2018

    In light of the school shootings (plural) that have happened just this week (and it's only Tuesday), it may be time to have some real talk. Does anyone have anything to say about school violence or how we can work to prevent it?
     
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  3. a2z

    a2z Phenom

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    Almost all school violence has stemmed from either people not be accepted for who they are or not having skills to handle their emotions. Mental illness does play a part in some cases, but I'm not sure if the mental illness comes about because of the lack of skills or vice-versa.

    I'm not talking about mental illness at the level of the legal meaning.
     
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  4. Hokiegrad1993

    Hokiegrad1993 Companion

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    I just think it is sad that it has come to the point of having to have school shooting drills. It has become so prevalent that we have to prepare for them. I know it is smart to do regardless but I remember when they were a rare occurrence.

    I go to VT where the shooting happened in 2007. We changed everything in how our buildings are run.
     
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  5. viola_x_wittrockiana

    viola_x_wittrockiana Companion

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    Yes. Teaching kids how to manage themselves would help across the board. "It's easier to build strong children than to repair broken men." - Frederick Douglass.
    Across the board, we need metal detectors in schools.
    Another problem is the "it could never happen here" mentality. That's what people said when my HS had a shooting in 2012, but in reality, anyone who went there in the decade or so prior saw it coming. After a non-violent intruder incident a few years earlier, the school did not take adequate steps to prevent or deter future incidents. For some reason, people tend to think of guns at school as an urban problem, when really it's just as likely to be a problem in rural communities where everyone hunts and thus has gun access. Benton didn't learn from Paducah ('97 shooting). I have family in Benton and all through the surrounding area, enough to know that hunting is popular and this isn't the first incident in the wider community. I'm not blaming the school, but after what happened just up the road, they can't say it wasn't in the general consciousness that it could happen there too.
     
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  6. miss-m

    miss-m Habitué

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    Jan 23, 2018

    I'm reading an article that touches on this right now actually. It says, "As a result, schools establish policies that try to increase discipline and control, often by adopting “get tough” practices. In other words, schools set strict rules about the types of student behavior that are unacceptable and assign rather severe consequences for students who do not abide by the rules. When the initial policies prove ineffective, schools often respond by “getting tougher.” That is, they invest in other security (e.g., metal detectors) and punitive measures (e.g., “zero tolerance” policies that result in expulsion) that actually have little impact on student behavior (Skiba & Peterson, 2000)" (emphasis mine; Simonsen, Sugai, and Negron, 2008, p. 32).

    Schools need to teach social skills. Personally I don't think it should be that way, because in a perfect world parents would teach their children how to interact with others in a positive way and deal with negative emotions healthily. But this isn't a perfect world, and we have whole generations of parents who just don't know how to teach those skills. They never learned how to cope with difficult emotions or communicate well, so they can't teach their kids. I wish teachers weren't responsible for it, but if someone doesn't do something, schools will continue to have shootings committed by kids who were bullied or isolated and don't know any other way to cope with it.
    Yes, take the safety measures; but don't stop there. Do the safety things as an interim prevention, but get to the root of the problem too. Teach kids how to deal with their emotions when it's low-risk -- when they're sad that they were excluded at recess, when they don't get their way, when they feel rejected or angry or hurt. Teach them how to cope in a healthy way. Teach them how to include others, how to be kind and respectful even when they're upset or don't necessarily feel like it.

    Maybe all that's idealistic of me, but I think we're really good at treating symptoms without getting to the cause of the problem (because metal detectors, zero-tolerance policies, and evacuation/shooter drills will only get you so far). Yes, kids should know how to be safe in emergency situations, but we also need to start working to reduce the causes of emergency situations.

    Simonsen, B., Sugai, G., & Negron, M. (2008). Schoolwide Positive Behavior Supports: Primary Systems and Practices. TEACHING Exceptional Children, 40(6), 32-40.
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2018
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  7. Tyler B.

    Tyler B. Devotee

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    Here's another problem that is the school's job to fix.

    This isn't a school problem. It's a societal problem. Guns are too easy for kids and crazies to get. It's time to admit our lax gun laws need to be tighter in order to protect our children. These shootings don't happen in other countries.
     
  8. miss-m

    miss-m Habitué

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    You're absolutely right; it can't be JUST the school's job. It shouldn't be a problem at all, let alone the school's problem. But can we not, as teachers, help raise up students who will change society? It's my inner idealist coming out, but we do spend hours on end with our students every week - that has the power to have a serious impact if we use it well.
     
  9. AlwaysAttend

    AlwaysAttend Fanatic

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    If it didn’t happen in schools, it would happen at some other communal gathering (churches, concerts, etc.). It’s not something that can ever be eradicated. It’s like trying to stop a lightning strike. Being vigilant is all that can really be done in the “real world”.
     
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  10. Tyler B.

    Tyler B. Devotee

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    We can do better. We don't need to agree to be a country where we let people kill our children.

    Australia addressed the gun problem with a huge decrease in the gun murder rate.
     
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  11. Been There

    Been There Companion

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    Jan 24, 2018

    They actually do occur in other countries albeit at a lower rate. Read the following article to become better informed.
    http://harvardpolitics.com/special_features/gun.html
     
  12. AlwaysAttend

    AlwaysAttend Fanatic

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    In NYC, a kid just stabbed another kid to death in a classroom.

    Those other countries don’t have a constitutional amendment allowing gun ownership.
     
  13. Tyler B.

    Tyler B. Devotee

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    In the USA, it's illegal to yell "fire" in a crowed theater. Why? Because the idea of falsely shouting "fire" in a crowded theater arose from the Supreme Court’s 1919 decision in the case Schenck v. United States. The Court ruled unanimously that the First Amendment, though it protects freedom of expression, does not protect dangerous speech. In the decision, Oliver Wendell Holmes wrote that no free speech safeguard would cover someone "falsely shouting fire in a theater and causing a panic."

    So if the first amendment has limits because of danger to the pubic, so can the second amendment. Or should we continue to let our children die?
     
  14. a2z

    a2z Phenom

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    Harvard doesn't seem to believe it could be replicated here nor is it a given fact that the buy back was the real reason for the downturn.
    https://cdn1.sph.harvard.edu/wp-con...4/2012/10/bulletins_australia_spring_2011.pdf

    What it shows is that there is something else driving the changes, but it was most likely not the buy back.
    Then there is this report to the Australian government that shows that trends with or without gun buy back was the same.
    https://crimeresearch.org/wp-conten...d-crime-for-the-Australian-Parliament-Rev.pdf
     
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2018
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  15. Obadiah

    Obadiah Devotee

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    This does not make a bit of sense, that a person would kill another person. The perpetrator realistically gains nothing, except to spend the rest of his/her life in jail or die in the process. The act does not better the perpetrator's life nor does it better anyone else's. And these are teenagers! Teenagers shooting teenagers!
     
  16. AlwaysAttend

    AlwaysAttend Fanatic

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    There are limits on the 2nd amendment already...
     
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  17. Backroads

    Backroads Fanatic

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    I am strongly in the camp of addressing mental illness and social skills. There are some great band-aids worth considering, but, yes, mental illness and difficulty interacting with others are in my view the big issues.
     
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  18. a2z

    a2z Phenom

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    There are some reports about the shooter in KY from people. Seems he was bullied for years and nothing was done to stop it. Also, it seems a difficult family life of abuse. Of course, his name got out there, and I will not share it.
     
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  19. a2z

    a2z Phenom

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    Your only focus is removing the means when the real problem is the why. You can remove the means, but you leave those who desperately need help still floundering.

    Australia's murder rate was going down prior to gun buy back. Their suicide rate was also declining. The real question, if you need to focus on Australia, is what did they do as a society to cause the downward trend prior to the buy back?
     
  20. anon55

    anon55 Comrade

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    Many people here would like to avoid the obvious: America has more guns than people, we have among the highest gun deaths in the world, and we have the most mass shootings. This doesn't happen in other countries (meaning very rarely). It is not normal. It is not something we have to accept. It is something we can change. Don't just look at Australia. Look at Japan, Europe, Canada, New Zealand, China, the Middle East (the ones not in war zones). No other country in the world (just about) has as lax gun laws. It's an international disgrace that we care more about the rights of gun owners than the rights of people to live.

    More people die from drowning in their bath tubs than terrorism, yet we obsessively focus on that threat rather than the real threat of guns. The biggest amount of gun deaths is from suicides (something we rarely talk about). https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/oct/05/us-gun-violence-charts-data

    1,500 mass shootings since Sandy Hook. https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2017/10/2/16399418/us-gun-violence-statistics-maps-charts

    http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-41488081

    These charts, maps and graphs are so depressing but necessary. It makes me feel hopeless because the power of the NRA defeats any gun control.
     
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  21. AlwaysAttend

    AlwaysAttend Fanatic

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    We also have more Whoppers and Big Macs. There are probably more knives and soccer balls than people too.
     
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