Gun Violence in Schools

Discussion in 'General Education' started by missrebecca, Oct 9, 2015.

  1. missrebecca

    missrebecca Comrade

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    Oct 9, 2015

    I'm hesitant to post this, but am truly curious about what other teachers have to say. This mostly applies to teachers in the US. Also, I'm not sure if this is the correct subforum -- if not, I apologize. I couldn't find similar threads using the search feature, so if they exist, please let me know! :)

    As there have been numerous school shootings, how do you as a teacher feel about gun violence in schools? Is it something you (or your students) worry about? Does your school have an emergency plan in case of a shooting? What do you believe the government's role should be in regard to gun violence in schools?
     
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  3. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    Oct 9, 2015

    I think about it from time to time, but I don't lose any sleep over it. Chances of it happening are higher than they once were, for sure, but they're still relatively low overall. I figure that, if it does happen, then we'll figure out how good our plan - that we practice repeatedly - actually is... I also figure that there is nothing I can do to directly prevent it, so I just have to keep moving along and hope for the best.
     
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  4. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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  5. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    Oct 9, 2015

    If someone wants to bring a gun into a school, shopping mall, movie theatre, church, etc.--they're going to do it regardless of whatever barriers/precautions are in place.

    My teachers and I have been through ALICE training and we also have a school safety plan that our staff developed last year.

    I'd take a bullet for any of my kiddos!
     
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  6. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

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    I too think about it but don't lose any sleep over it. We have been through ALICE training. I talk about it with my kiddos and we have a number of plans in place depending on the situation (evacuation, barricade, etc...)

    I read the onion article earlier this week and loved it. It accurately reflected everything I feel. I believe we also need to change the way we diagnose and treat mental health in this country. I don't have any good answers, but it makes me very sad.
     
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  7. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Fanatic

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    Oct 10, 2015

    Yes, we do have an emergency plan that was put in place after the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary school in Connecticut.

    I am at an Elementary school which lowers the probability of a shooting a bit, so I am not what I would call "scared". Although, I am more sensitive to keeping the students safe on the playground and in other areas of school. I don't want to increase the odds of something happening by being neglectful in any way.

    I am far more nervous though of the commute to and from school where the odds of a fatal accident dramatically increase. I am a bit nervous for my students and myself about that, but I wouldn't say scared.
     
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  8. otterpop

    otterpop Aficionado

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    I think about it now and then but not regularly. I did have a talk with my class about it, which is hard to do with elementary kids. We talked about what to do during a lockdown, why (the bare minimum - in case there was an unsafe situation outside), and why it was so important to stay quiet. As a school, we haven't had any training. We do have a lockdown procedure, but it is pretty bare bones.
     
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  9. missrebecca

    missrebecca Comrade

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    Oct 10, 2015

    Thanks for sharing! I wish our school would do ALICE training. We are a charter and don't have very good precautions in place. There are suggested emergency procedures, like having a large paper ready to cover our classroom windows, that not every teacher has.

    We've had a lot of gun violence in our area recently, including random car shootings on a major highway that went on for a couple of weeks. Some teachers used alternate routes to get to work and literally lost sleep trying to avoid areas where the highway shootings were taking place. So gun violence has been a big topic of discussion in my school recently.
     
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  10. applecore

    applecore Devotee

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    We've been through one ALICE meeting (If you want to call it a training by watching a video and someone describing what ALICE is with a power point, then there you go...), and we have talked about a scenario. Oh, and we've had 2 fire drills.

    Do I feel like we're ready to take action and make sure our students are safe and out of the building? I can honestly say, no. We're not. And I don't think any school is really ready. We just have to do what we can for precautions and take each day as we're supposed to---while doing our jobs.

    Do I feel more prepared for a fire? Yes. Absolutely.
     
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  11. allaragallagher

    allaragallagher Comrade

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    Oct 11, 2015

    Sandy Hook happened while I was a student teacher. I remember thinking everything was going to change, and that I was going to have to stay in college longer because parents were going to stop allowing student teachers into schools without a lot more vetting and procedures.

    I'm only in my second year of teaching and we have not done a drill (other than the required fire drills at the beginning of the year) yet. I had to ask about our policy. I wasn't even shown a PowerPoint or trained. My school is woefully unprepared and has zero added safety features. We have no security guard.

    That being said, even this early into my career, the day I'm asked to carry a gun is the day I quit. I disagree strongly with the idea of teachers carrying weapons and being considered "the first line of defense."
     
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  12. HistoryVA

    HistoryVA Devotee

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    Oct 11, 2015

    I think about it sometimes. I actually think I'm overly cavalier about the potential. I was remarking to another teacher recently that when I'm confronting a student or am in a "risky" situation, it never really occurs to me that someone could have a weapon until the situation is over.

    A student (supposedly) brought a gun into my classroom a couple of years ago. I knew he was a gang member (several of my students are), but i never thought about them being armed. A couple days after he supposedly had it, another student approached me and told me that he'd been showing it off but that the first student had been scared to say anything (snitches get stitches). He was searched but didn't have a weapon that day, so who knows.

    I do think that if it happened in my school, it would be a situation of one student specifically seeking to attack another student rather than random violence, but again, that's the bias of knowing we have gang activity.
     
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  13. otterpop

    otterpop Aficionado

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    Oct 11, 2015

    I think it would be reasonable for every school to have a security officer and locked campus.
     
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  14. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    A locked campus I can buy. Security officer at every school I absolutely can't agree with. At the vast majority of schools, that person would do nothing but leech money that could otherwise go to additional instructional staff. Additionally, a lot of issues which today would typically get resolved either by a teacher, counselor, or administrator would probably get turned over to a security officer (on the grounds that they are being paid anyway, so might as well use them)... and there is literally no good whatsoever that would come from THAT taking place.
     
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  15. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

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    Oct 12, 2015

    I'm surprised not all schools practice lockdown and evacuation drills. We have been required to do lockdowns as long as I can remember. We are now required to do evacuation drills too. We also have fire drills and tornado drills, of course.
     
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  16. MissCeliaB

    MissCeliaB Aficionado

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    Oct 12, 2015

    I was surprised to learn that isn't the case everywhere. We have two security officers, our SRO (and actual police officer paid by the police force) and also use our ROTC instructors (in uniform) on duty during peak hours (before and after school and during lunch.) The kids all complain about not being able to sneak off campus for lunch, but admit that they feel safe having that many adults in uniform who are trained to protect them.

    We do monthly fire drills, two severe weather drills a year, and one lockdown drill a year. We do not do an active shooter drill as of yet. We also have a policy to keep our doors to our classrooms locked, and if we see an unknown person on campus we ask them who they are and casually escort them to the office to sign in and get a visitor pass, by saying something like, "Oh this building is so confusing, let me just walk you to the office."

    I feel safe. I teach on the 2nd floor and know that if anything started on the first floor it likely wouldn't make it to me before the SRO or ROTC guys or security officers slowed the threat down, at least. My door is always locked, and the windows in my room are tiny, and our building is approved as a nuclear fallout shelter, so the walls are really thick. In the case of an active shooter, I'd have my students move into the corner away from the windows and door, and make a barricade of desks in front of the door and in front of the students.

    Oh, and I can assure you that even with all of our security employees we still have plent of instructional specialists.
     

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