Let's talk school shootings

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

  1. blazer

    blazer Connoisseur

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  2. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    Mar 14, 2018

    [​IMG]
     
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  3. TeacherNirvana

    TeacherNirvana Rookie

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    Personally, I think the conversation needs to be steered toward school culture and environment. If you take school shooting data and combine it will bullying data, the picture of school culture and environment that is painted is one that is bleak and hostile. In addition to being a classroom teacher, I'm also a high school coach for every boys' sport. My number one issue is my players tearing each other down with negative comments. No amount of gun control will stop the violence with this kind of negativity. They will just find other ways to hurt someone.
     
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  4. Obadiah

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    Mar 17, 2018

    This has been running through my mind, also. Cruelty breeds negative reactions. The old adage, "Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me," is false. The age old advice, "Just ignore them," only results in further outcasting towards the victim. Today's perfectionist culture demeans anyone who differs from the crowd, and when a person is shoved out of the safe enclosure of social acceptance, s/he searches for survival. In the meantime, those who are enclosed within the safety of the group are under constant fear and even surveillance by the rest of the group. "Did you know what Sam did, yesterday?" is whispered among the group when Sam isn't present, and no one wants to be the next topic of conversation.

    I even wonder if feigned friendliness is more detrimental than outright bullying. I see this all the time among adults--real polite when the person is within earshot, but out of earshot and it's another story.

    But concerning the kids who become outcasts, this didn't happen overnight. There are kids who are shunned, kids who are picked on, and this just eats away at the victim like a cancer. But just as a tumor is cured by antibodies fighting against it, there is healing power in a peer giving a friendly smile. In cancer, the tumor must be diminished early, and the same is true with cancerous bullying. But just one person can stand up against the peer pressure and befriend, not just be polite, not just tolerate, but truly befriend the suffering student, this can put the cancer into remission.

    A few days ago, I was recalling 10th grade. There was a girl who for religious reasons always wore plain ankle-length skirts. She always ate lunch by herself. I recall my friend at lunch laughing about her difference in appearance. I was thinking, what if I had walked over and asked to sit with her and become friends? So what if her religious beliefs differed. This is the mindset we need to teach kids today! Why outcast anybody? We need each other, and how much more enriched our lives are when we accept each other for who we are. Each person has something special to contribute to the group, and how much are we missing when someone isn't allowed to contribute?
     
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  5. 3Sons

    3Sons Connoisseur

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    Mar 17, 2018

    I don't know if the bullying in school sports is leading to school shootings exactly, but I agree the negativity with which some of the kids treat each other is awful.

    The weird thing is that some of the kids not only don't mind it, but actually enjoy it. Even when it's directed at them (as long as not EVERYONE directs it at them). Trash talking becomes a sign of group membership. I still dislike it, though, and prefer it when my kids are on the baseball team. Baseball doesn't seem to foster trash-talking as much, I think due to the structure of the rules and the way it's played.
     
  6. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    Mar 17, 2018

    Trash talk is like compliments. For some the compliment is to build someone up, used on others it is an underhanded jab and never meant as a compliment. Sometimes the people receiving the underhanded compliment don't realize it but everyone else does. Sometimes they know that they are being treated poorly as the others watch and don't care.

    It is like any other social situation. Some people are predisposed to dealing with certain things better than others. Others are not and need extra help. Sadly, most kids that are ostracized don't get help. They are told to not worry about it while the torture continues. Then when they fight back, they are usually the ones most punished.

    This behavior, even if it isn't directed at a student most of the time, is seen by the students and they internalize it. Even the kids in the crowd that might be causing the issue will have members that internalize it because they are only in the group to avoid being the target.
     
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  7. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    Mar 17, 2018

    What a screwed up society we live in.
     
  8. Obadiah

    Obadiah Groupie

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    Mar 18, 2018

    Last night, I viewed What We Can Do about the Culture of Hate, on Ted Talks, www.ted.com . Wow! I highly recommend this 18 minute video.
     
  9. TeacherNirvana

    TeacherNirvana Rookie

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    You haven't met my players. They trash-talk all the time (even to each other). Actually, the National Federation of High School Sports has started issuing statements on the amount of unsportsman-like conduct coming out of dugouts during high school baseball games. Umpire chapters are being encouraged to eject more players because of this.
     
  10. blazer

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  11. Obadiah

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    May 19, 2018

    In the wake of yesterday's two school shootings, one in Santa Fe, Texas and another in Georgia, CNN reported that in 2018 there has been an average of 1 school shooting per week!
     
  12. JimG

    JimG Companion

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    May 19, 2018

    Apparently, the Santa Fe assailant had been seen wearing a shirt that said, “Born to kill,” and he concealed his weapon under a trench coat in humid 88 degree Texas weather...

    We have very little control over gun laws, culture, mental illness, and all those other macro buzzwords thrown around after every one of these cowardly acts. We DO have control over being observant for things that don’t look or sound right. We DO have control over reporting something suspicious. We DO have control over building relationships with our students so that they feel comfortable coming to us to report something and so that we can recognize if a kid is acting out of sorts. We DO have control over drilling what to do in an active shooter situation with our kids and in our own minds.

    Focus on what YOU can do to be proactive in spotting suspicious behavior. During passing periods, if you stay at your desk catching up instead of doing hall duty, you might miss seeing or hearing something that could lead to preventing a dangerous situation before it starts. The same spirit applies in the lunch room, during assemblies, etc.
     
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  13. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    May 19, 2018

    The post about cutting in line got me thinking even more about bullying. Decades ago kids could stand up to a bully and the school would turn a blind eye because they knew the only way to stop a bully was to stand up to them and sadly it might mean doing so by more than words. There would be no "assault or violent" marks in a transcript that would go on to a college. There would rarely be any police intervention.

    Now we have an environment where we have all of these anti-bullying programs that really give kids no recourse or no real way to stop the bullying. Sure, tell the teacher, who in many cases doesn't want to hear it, and the bullying just gets worse because it is never really take care of. They don't see it, they don't hear it, and they can't do much. If the bullied does react by fighting back, there goes their chances for getting into a good school with an assault on their transcript. There goes their chance to participate in school activities. Since they threw the first punch, the bully usually gets the least of the punishment.

    Add to that teachers who bully and co-workers who sit idly by and say nothing because it isn't their "place".

    I don't advocate violence, but I hate to say it, unless schools are going to remove the bullies, sometimes that is the only option. A little school yard scuffle is better than gunned down students.
     
  14. Been There

    Been There Habitué

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    May 19, 2018

    I just realized that teachers often submit posts to this forum asking for help with difficult co-workers who bully others. Even as adults, many people have never learned how to effectively respond to a bully and are often at a total loss as to what to do - not much different than what goes on among children in the playground. In days gone by, we were encourged/allowed to use common sense to resolve interpersonal differences au naturel, without any concern for what was PC. Now, everything is out of wack and no one seems to know what to do anymore!
     
  15. Obadiah

    Obadiah Groupie

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    May 20, 2018

    I am in complete agreement with your observation and thoughts. Although not widely reported in national news, from local stories, it appears that many tragedies have been prevented due to such diligence. Statistically, it seems that only a small percentage of teenagers would commit a shooting or other severe act of violence, but on the other hand, it only takes 1 person to cause a disaster. According to Wikipedia, school shootings have been occurring as early as 1764, but only recently at such a tremendous number. That surprised me too, that the shooter was advertising violence with a shirt proclaiming "Born to kill." Wearing a shirt that essentially says, "Hey, I might have a problem," makes me wonder if anyone checked on the student to see if help was needed. He says he had a story to tell, well, what if his story was told before the shootings.
     
    Last edited: May 20, 2018
  16. GPC0321

    GPC0321 Companion

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    May 20, 2018

    I'm a 16-year veteran teacher, and I'm getting to the point where I actually have some anxiety and apprehension about my career because of how unsafe it is. I realize anyone anywhere can pull out a gun and start shooting, but knowing teenagers like I do, and seeing them become less personally connected to society and more self-absorbed and indifferent to others, even in my small, rural school, is...disturbing. There was a time when the idea of a school shooting on our campus never entered my mind. Now, it wouldn't surprise me one bit and I can actually think of a couple specific kids who worry me a little.

    There are students in my school who do not seem to have anything or anyone they care about enough to NOT throw their lives away. To them, it would be worth it to wind up in prison or dead if it means being able to hurt other people. And these kids range from those who are victims of abuse and bullying to those who drive Porsches to school and whose parents make constant excuses for their bad behavior.

    When the tables have fully turned and the children are running the show, we're all screwed. Faculty and staff have to BE THE ADULTS and stand up to the bullies. Stand up to the students who bully other students. Stand up to the students who bully teachers. Stand up to the teachers who bully students. Stand up to the teachers who bully other teachers. Stand up to the parents who bully their children. Stand up to the children who bully their parents. Stand up to the parents who bully the teachers.

    Right is right and wrong is wrong. We have to stop being afraid of hurting someone's feelings by saying, "NO. You're being mean. That is unacceptable."

    I'll try to steer clear of politics, but let's just say, this is a problem that goes ALL the way to the TOP here in the U.S. It isn't just our schools. It's our society.
     
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  17. Obadiah

    Obadiah Groupie

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    May 20, 2018

    Checking the news on my phone this morning, Anderson Cooper stated that more people have died in schools than in the military. I'm not sure of the timeline of his statistics, but no matter. That is....sorry, I'm at a loss for words, for an adjective strong enough to express my feelings of fear. I was in high school in the 70's. OK, we're getting close to half a century ago, but should that much change in half a century? It did, but why????????????????????????????????????????
     
  18. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Fanatic

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    We need to do as much as possible as a society to prevent these school shootings. It seems that cities put lots of $$$ into reducing crime and get some good results, but our high schools and junior highs are often ignored. New York City had over 2,000 murders in 1990, now they have about 400 a year after more than doubling their police force and doing many other not so inexpensive interventions. I do believe we can make our schools a lot safer and it might not be inexpensive, but it would be worth it.
     
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  19. minnie

    minnie Cohort

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    May 20, 2018

    This is probably a stupid question but...what did Anderson Cooper mean? What about WWI WWII? I'm sure I'm just misunderstanding what he meant.
     
  20. waterfall

    waterfall Maven

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    May 20, 2018

    The story was that more children have died in schools this year (2018) than soldiers in the military.
     

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