Let's talk school shootings

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

  1. Obadiah

    Obadiah Groupie

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    I've had some random thoughts concerning implementations to counter this current dilemma of school violence. These are odd ideas, to be sure, but we're countering odd behavior, also.

    I've been wondering about fire alarms. Currently, as seen in Parkland, anyone can pull an alarm and cause a mass exodus. I'm wondering if there could be a way to electronically verify a fire, it's location (in case someone triggers an alarm with an actual fire), and even eliminate the fire prior to an evacuation. In other words, make it very difficult to force an evacuation of a school building, but at the same time, allow for immediate evacuation when necessary.

    I'm also wondering how prepared modern students' brains are for violent emergencies. I'm comparing modern students to students from when I was young, or even prior time periods.

    Many, if not most, of today's students do not eat a brain healthy diet of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Could we counter that by offering free lunches with little or no meat, and attractive, tasty vegetarian dishes? I would even suggest making it more palatable with a bit of sugar or honey; as Mary Poppins said, "A spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down." Even cookies, cakes, puddings, etc. can be upped nutritiously.

    Something we're already struggling to improve, so I don't know how we can improve on this more than we are, but kids today are not reading. Nothing supports brain growth as much as reading (and other forms of communication). Roald Dahl, in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, recommended eliminating TV's. This was prior to video games and texting so perhaps he would have even furthered his suggestion had he written the book in 2018. I'm not suggesting total elimination of such technology, but I am suggesting, (beyond our control as teachers), that parents monitor tech usage and encourage activities that enhance the upper brain rather than just growing the reactive lower brain. Not only does reading enhance empathetic understanding and logical thinking (of which many if not all of the current violent students lacked), but it produces a brain that can better respond to an emergency situation. In reference to the police training we received at our school, standard procedures were set in place, but alongside of that, we were cautioned of the need to be creative. My thoughts are this: in an emergency students might become devoid of teacher direction and might need to react on their own. A better prepared brain provides better reactions.

    Also concerning brain development, again somewhat out of our control except for what we currently provide, students need more physical exercise and more time outside. When I was a kid, playtime meant outdoors. Of course back then, it was considered safe to explore the entire neighborhood including the wooded areas.

    Back to communication, and this is within our area of outreach, oral communication is essential for brain development, and again, this enhances the areas of the brain that will respond creatively and interact socially during an emergency; by interacting socially, I'm thinking of situations where students, again if devoid of teacher presence, may need to work together in solving a crisis. In the classroom, this is developed through discussions where everyone (including the teacher) listens to each other, everyone is respectfully encouraged to participate, everyone is allowed to disagree (politely), everyone is allowed to change their opinion following further exploration of a topic, in other words, good, healthy talks--appropriate for any subject, such as how can this math formula be used in everyday life? Should ain't be considered improper grammar since at one time it wasn't? What would have happened if this historical even had not occurred?...etc.

    Just some thoughts.
     
  2. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Kids not reading isn't what's causing these school shootings, if you ask me. I'm reading Columbine right now, and it stresses pretty early on that both boys were intelligent and well-read, with one of them frequently quoting Shakespeare and Nietzsche. What's more, those boys weren't really the social outcasts like everyone thinks. At least one of them was known to be charming and outgoing, and neither one of them had any trouble getting dates.

    While healthy eating and exercise are good for everyone, I don't think that not getting enough of either is what's causing these shootings, either. I don't think it's violent video games (although I do think that extremely violent games and movies and news stories do desensitize people to violence to some degree). In many cases it doesn't even seem to be bad parenting. Some of these shooters weren't the victims of bullying or abuse, didn't show a lot of warning signs, and seemed to be pretty well-adjusted, happy kids. Those things aren't true for other shooters.

    Honestly, I don't know what it is that triggers some kids/people into deciding to commit a mass shooting and then actually following through with that plan. I suspect that it's a terrible combination of factors, probably including some sort of mental illness or personality disorder along with interest in and access to guns. If we as a society can't or won't address mental health, and it is my strongly held belief that we don't properly address it, then we absolutely must limit access to guns. Without guns, it would be a lot harder for these kids to commit the same kinds of offenses with the same kinds of casualty rates. Yes, they might still do bad things and hurt people, but they won't be spraying bullets like they're the latest scent of Axe Body Spray.
     
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  3. ms.irene

    ms.irene Connoisseur

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    We don't know anything for sure about what these shooters have in common, except for one thing: easy access to guns and ammunition meant to kill as many people as possible, as fast as possible.

    That is the only reason these guns exist. If you "need" one for hunting, then you suck at hunting.
     
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  4. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    The current mental health treatment is jail. In at least some areas, addicts are left to vomit and have withdrawals while lying on the floor.
     
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  5. blazer

    blazer Connoisseur

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    If mental illness is a factor then probably not a good idea to arm teachers given that they probably suffer more than average mental health problems due to the stress of the job.
     
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  6. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    There are several arguments against arming teachers, but I think that is an unfair generalization.
     
  7. blazer

    blazer Connoisseur

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    Not in the UK it isn't!
     
  8. Obadiah

    Obadiah Groupie

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    Excellent points. Concerning the last quote I highlighted, more and more I'm fearful that decision makers are looking for a singular quick fix when the causes might, or probably are, multifaceted. Concerning your first quote, I'm right now also recalling other incidents of murderers who were also readers. My original thoughts when I posted were based on Michele Borba's research in the book Unselfie.

    My main point though is that the more prepared kids' brains are the better they will respond to emergency situations when they are the potential victims. Holistically, this would include a return to emphasizing proper nutrition and exercise, time spent outdoors, and communication through reading and oral discussions. I'm not so sure these are small areas in comparison to the larger possible preparations. For example, the other day at Walmart, I used the self checkout to get rid of a bunch of coins. The machine froze on me, then another person's machine, then another, until 4 of us were waiting for the attendant to find the customer service person. This was probably just a minor bug in one of the computers, but that small bug was important enough to hold up the entire self check out area.

    Onto another aspect of this discussion, though, yesterday I read a highly disturbing article in The Atlantic (Feb. 22, 2018, Heather Sher, What I Saw Treating the Victims from Parkland Should Change the Debate on Guns).
     
  9. Obadiah

    Obadiah Groupie

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    I just found a very interesting FBI website page, ucr.fbi.gov. Using these statistics, in 2016, of the 15070 murders, 73% were committed with firearms, and 27% were committed with other weapons or tactics.

    Here's my thinking so far, but I'm writing in respect of other opinions, also. This is a difficult topic, with difficult solutions. Do we really need high velocity weapons? I don't know if it's just the weapon that makes the bullet so destructive, the bullet that makes the weapon so destructive, or a combination of both, but whatever the cause, do we really need this for hunting? for home protection? A high velocity bullet shot at a home intruder, or even a school intruder, if missed, will it hit another innocent victim such as another student or a next door neighbor? Do we really need a tremendous amount of bullets inside a firearm? Do we really need machine guns for hunting or home protection (from bump stocks)? I'm also recalling a rifle (?) on display at a wild game dinner I attended a few years ago. It was home designed as I recall, but it didn't look like anything I've ever seen for hunting. It looked more like a military style weapon. It made me wonder--why?

    I don't know much about guns. When I was a youngster around hunting age, as I've written before, an infection led to sudden severe twitches which would have made handling a gun quite unsafe, so I became interested in other outdoor sports instead such as fishing, biking, and hiking. I'm learning much about guns this month in what I've read. It's confusing, though. It seems whichever political party the author is of, I get different definitions on what is an assault rifle or other weaponry features. I find that confusing, too. I mean, rifles aren't Republicans or Democrats.
     
  10. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    You argue about the type of weapons, but your data doesn't break down the types of weapons used other than firearm vs not.

    Yes, because there is no true definition of "assault" rifle and many people writing articles don't know much about weapons either.

    Some people believe so. Some do not. It also depends the circumstance someone feels they may need them.

    I do not believe machine guns are in the hands of all but a very few who had to go through rigorous procedures to get them unless you are just using the term machine gun to represent any gun that can fire a lot of bullets.

    Depends on the situation.

    I read a few articles about the AR and some hunters like it for its versatility. Easier for small game and can take down large game too.
     
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  11. Obadiah

    Obadiah Groupie

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    A2z, thank you for your insight. You've provided even more for me to consider. I'm just writing where my thinking is right now. Concerning machine guns, it's my understanding that a "bump stock" can turn an automatic rifle into a simulated machine gun.

    A note to everyone, what we are doing with 191 comments so far, I truly believe is important. Discussion is what will lead to solution. No, we personally might not be the decision makers, but this is the Internet. Some people reading what we write are making decisions, and perhaps our discussion is leading some to discuss this further with new ideas and new insights. Perhaps one of our ideas will lead to another idea, then to another, and then to a workable solution. At this moment, although 11 members are on the site, 428 guests are visiting, and I'm not sure what the 46 robots do, but they might be connecting to other eventual readers. Again, I wonder if President Trump or any members of Congress are reading these posts.
     
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  12. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    I see your point here, but it makes me really sad that we are more focused on looking at ways to prepare our small children for mass shootings than on preventing those events in the first place.

    When it comes to victims and victimization, a lot of what we do seems backwards. We teach girls situational awareness and self-defense and to always hold their car keys between their knuckles in order to fend off a potential attack. How often are we teaching our boys not to attack girls? We teach girls not to wear tank tops or thigh-revealing shorts because it might distract the boys. How often are we holding our boys accountable for their own behaviors? How often are we teaching both boys and girls that girls' bodies don't exist merely within the context of how boys will react to them?

    When it comes to mass shootings, we focus on metal detectors, bullet-proof backpacks, arming teachers...virtually any solution OTHER THAN removing the guns from the equation. That's the problem.
     
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  13. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    Until one can be fixed the other has to be used. There is no quick gun fix because it is only part of the problem. This country would not allow total gun confiscation. It just won't happen.
     
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  14. blazer

    blazer Connoisseur

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  15. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    Why do people keep thinking and making it sound like arming teachers means the school will give each teacher a gun (whether they like it or not) and will carry it around all day long, making it look like we're in a war zone.
    This is a completely wrong picture!! Maybe arming teachers won't help at all, but if you want to debate it, do it the right way.
    Teachers who would be armed would be those who are ok with it, volunteer for it, are cleared to do it and will be trained on it, which means they have to retest every so often. The gun is most likely locked up in their desk and no one will even know which teacher is armed. The way the school would look and go on about its business would be no different, but if there was an active shooter, the armed teacher could get his or her gun and possibly do something about the situation.

    Stop making it look like you're giving a gun to a teacher who has anxiety issues, never fired a gun, would never touch it, but you're making her do it. That makes no sense.
     
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  16. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    I am very uncomfortable with the idea of a loaded and unattended gun being in a classroom where kids are.

    I can also say that not everyone who wants to be armed should be armed.
     
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  17. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    No gun should be or would be loaded or unattended. I assume the gun would be unloaded and locked up. Kids couldn't get to it, they wouldn't even know it's there. In case of an emergency it wouldn't take long to unlock and load the gun. Definitely quicker than waiting for police to arrive.
     
  18. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    It would be unattended if it wasn't on someone's body.

    Honestly, we've had purses and cell phones go missing from locked desks. Why would a gun be any different?
     
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  19. MissyB

    MissyB Rookie

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    I had about 6 seconds after the time my classroom door was closed to when the first of many shots was fired into my window. The attack continued on our school for about 6 minutes. I'm pretty sure that even if anybody did have a gun locked away they would have been unable to reach and/or use them during that time without risking getting hit by flying debris and bullets or the safety of the students.

    Even after experiencing that I'm not really a fan of having armed staff on campus. I don't feel comfortable having a loaded weapon in my classroom and I don't think it would have been useful in our situation. We each played an important role that day that allowed us to protect those kids to the best of our ability. I feel that if any one of us was more focused on getting and using a gun that day then something would have been neglected that could have drastically changed the outcome. I know not everyone would agree with that opinion though.
     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2018
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  20. blazer

    blazer Connoisseur

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    There should be a 'respect' button next to the like button for that last post.
     
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