Gun Violence in Schools

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

  1. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    Oct 15, 2015

    Honestly, the drills did help the one time I was in a school where there WAS an active shooter on campus. The only problem was getting them to take it seriously enough to stop texting because I had no idea where the shooter was (thankfully in the bus garage, not in the actual building). Those phone screens were like bright targets in a dark classroom.
     
  2. Reality Check

    Reality Check Habitué

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    Oct 15, 2015

    In my almost 25-year career, there's been 3 shootings inside the school I was in at the time, 3 (that I know of) caught with a loaded gun in the building, and one drive-by shooting right as school was letting out for the day. In each case, it involved a gang dispute - not a massive execution.

    I suppose keeping in mind that there were specific targets implicated and that it's all out of my control anyway, make it something I just don't think about on a regular basis.

     
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2015
  3. Mr.Me

    Mr.Me Rookie

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    Pretty much scares the crap out of me. SH was a big eye-opener for everyone. I will never forget the feelings/emotions that I had right after hearing what happened. Really wanted to hug my son.
    It is always on my mind, but doesn't get in the way of my teaching.
    Our school has gone through A.L.I.C.E. training. And our principal has done a drill (more on that at another time).
    Gov't role....oh boy. That is the elephant on the table, huh?
     
  4. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Oct 15, 2015

    In my district we don't practice specifically for active shooter scenarios, but we do (or are supposed to) practice for hard and soft lockdowns and shelter-in-place events. It's not uncommon in certain neighborhoods for the schools to go on lockdown, real lockdown and not a drill, because of an event that occurred or is occurring nearby. For example, if the bank across the street gets robbed, the school may go on lockdown until the police locate the suspect or at least determine that he isn't hiding out on school grounds.
     
  5. ms.irene

    ms.irene Connoisseur

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    Oct 15, 2015

    I think we absolutely need to drill for lockdown and active shooter situations. I was recently re-reading the Fred Jones article where he discusses the importance of procedures for secondary students, and gives the example of an emergency in a chemistry classroom. Drilling the procedure to take in an emergency can save lives. I don't like doing lockdown drills, but it is absolutely necessary, if only to find out the holes in your procedures and to address them, like the chaos on our campus over a simple burglar alarm.
     
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  6. Mr.Me

    Mr.Me Rookie

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    Oct 15, 2015

    We do drill s-i-p and now lockdown.
    I have a strong personal opinion about doing lockdown drills being done without telling the staff. May not be popular, but I will post more later on this.
     
  7. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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  8. Mr.Me

    Mr.Me Rookie

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    Oct 15, 2015

  9. MissCeliaB

    MissCeliaB Aficionado

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    Oct 15, 2015

    We are having a lockdown drill right now during my planning (thankfully) and the school is eerily quiet. I'm worried I'll get in trouble because I'm not tall enough to put my blinds all the way down by myself, but it's the window with a filing cabinet in front of it, so maybe I'll be okay.
     
  10. Mr.Me

    Mr.Me Rookie

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    Oct 15, 2015

    Okay, some time to share my story about our lockdown drill.
    We have a new principal (2nd year) and she does do things differently. That is fine with me. We needed a change.
    Her attitude toward lockdown drills is to call them like they are real. Unfortunately, we didn't find this out until it actually happened.
    The lockdown call came, I took my kids to our safe area and we waited for the next instruction, as we were trained to do.
    Never, after the lockdown was called, was it ever told that it was a drill, until the meeting 2 days after.
    I have an issue with how this "drill" is handled not to mention that there were so many variables that could have made this exercise a complete disaster.
    As a district we have done A.L.I.C.E. training and drilling, why bring terror and fear into the process through "non-scheduled lockdown drills". If the real reason is to test the staff, then leave the kids out of it. We have kids (and now add staff members) with PTSD from out of school related issues.
    I don't understand the thinking on this. I told her I disagreed strongly about her decision.
     
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  11. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    Oct 15, 2015

    I love prepping. I don't live my life in fear of a school shooting, but I believe drills are important. But never should a drill be announced as a real situation. The purpose of the drill is to practice, to get reactions and thinking as close to automatic as possible. Don't mess that up with false alarms.
     
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  12. Mr.Me

    Mr.Me Rookie

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    Oct 15, 2015

    I agree. I feel like it the our principal was crying wolf with doing it how it was done.
     
  13. ms.irene

    ms.irene Connoisseur

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    Oct 15, 2015

    I agree that it is pathetic that we even have to do this, and I totally agree that it sounds like some schools may be over-dramatizing the drills and making things worse. But some students survived at Sandy Hook because they did the right thing during the shooting. It may be unpleasant, but if it might saves lives, it's worth doing. Announced, common-sense, sane drills of what to do in certain situations.
     
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  14. ms.irene

    ms.irene Connoisseur

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    Oct 16, 2015

    I'm back...I keep thinking about this thread this week! I also agree with the author of the article Caesar posted that doing drills isn't enough -- we need to be taking action to see better gun control measures passed. I just know personally, I feel relatively powerless politically. I vote in all elections and I make sure my candidates are pro-gun control. What else can we be doing? And as union members, how politically active is it OK to be? Writing letters to our representatives, letters to the editor, blogging...what are our options to take action?
     
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  15. Mr.Me

    Mr.Me Rookie

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    Oct 16, 2015

    Well it comes with great irony that this thread is the one that I have gravitated toward after joining earlier this week. Today during a s-i-p, a search was done and a weapon was found in a students locker.
    There is nothing I would like more in the world right now than to hug my children and tell them I love them.
    Teaching has changed. We no longer walk out the door saying good bye to our loved ones and expect everything will be fine. We kiss them goodbye and hope that everything will be okay.
    These are sad times that we live in, where students feel that the only way to solve a problem is through violence. Not only does there need to be better gun control but also proper mental health care for our students. The constant beating of the testing drum must not take center stage to what really matters - that being our students treated as human beings.
     
  16. stephenpe

    stephenpe Connoisseur

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    Oct 16, 2015

    We do drill s-i-p and now lockdown.
    I have a strong personal opinion about doing lockdown drills being done without telling the staff.


    I have more sip training next week and we have done the lockdown drill a few times now.
     
  17. missrebecca

    missrebecca Comrade

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    Oct 16, 2015

    I've also wondered what I can do to change things, and I think you've named most of our options. We can vote, and we can use our voices to inform other voters. More and more people in the US are becoming upset about gun violence, and I think we need to be louder and make a bigger stink about this issue. For lack of a better term. :)

    If anyone knows ways that people, especially teachers, can be politically active about this, I would love to hear.
     
  18. missrebecca

    missrebecca Comrade

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    Oct 16, 2015

    Thought I'd share another story...

    My first day of student teaching, we had a real lockdown. We had been told to go on lockdown by local law enforcement, and no one knew why. I was in a grade level meeting with the principal and all of us fully grown adults decided to leave the meeting room, where there were several first floor windows, to hide in a broom closet.

    Before it was announced that the lockdown was over, the vice principal and I went into a 3rd grade classroom nearby to check on one of my mentor teacher's SPED students -- we didn't realize that the children would be scared. She unlocked the door with a key and we walked into a dark classroom where the teacher was quietly reading a book to the children in the corner. The students all gasped, and one said, "We thought you were a bad guy!"

    I don't know if it made a big impact on them, but I felt so guilty and saddened that both the teacher and students had no idea what was coming through that door. It turned out the lockdown was because of a robbery in the area, and nothing dangerous happened on campus. Thankfully, that's the only real lockdown I've ever been in.
     
  19. Mr.Me

    Mr.Me Rookie

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    Oct 16, 2015

    Ohno...
    That would have made my heart sink, if it were me.
    And so terrifying for the kids and teacher.
     
  20. Obadiah

    Obadiah Groupie

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    Oct 17, 2015

    Discussions such as we're having are important to solving this (and any) potential problem. I feel it's good that several of the posts respectfully suggest disagreements in ideas so that we can learn from each other. If everyone said the same thing, then nothing new would be discovered. Unfortunately, it seems like politicians and talk show hosts argumentatively disagree and that only causes each side to try harder to promote its own opinion, rather than using the various ideas to decide which opinion is helpful, or better yet, use the ideas to form new ideas and opinions. Local officials would do well to forge such discussions as we're having. Participants should feel encouraged to express, even brainstorm, any idea, even if it sounds too unusual to be realistically feasible, because throughout history, many of the best ideas came from seemingly inconsequential ideas.
     
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  21. PoliticalFutbol

    PoliticalFutbol Rookie

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    Oct 20, 2015

    First of all,our hearts go out to the many families who have lost a loved one to gun violence. This problem needs to be fixed asap. But, how - the big controversial question?
    Just a couple of possible solutions - all I can think of right now:
    1) All teachers have guns - either carry one, or put one in the front desk, one in the back desk, one in each of two desks on the sides. If a shooter comes in there could be a real shoot-out. This way everyone could keep their guns so lions, tigers and bears don't rule the world.
    2) An alternative is no one in the country gets to have a gun except police. If anyone else is carrying a gun, assume there is only one reason - they are going to murder. Maybe anyone carrying a gun should immediately be neutralized - shot if need be - or maybe just capture them and put them in cages with the lions, tigers and bears. and shoot them immediately - no questions asked. Maybe turn guns into cages for bad animals.
     
  22. Pashtun

    Pashtun Fanatic

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    I am opposed to all teachers carry guns. Look at your staff, are you comfortable and confident with all teachers carrying guns?
     
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  23. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    Oct 20, 2015

    At the teacher union weekend last week, teachers were offered for free a concealed carry class. It's been somewhat controversial, despite the teachers would still have to pay for a concealed carry license and then actually want to bring a gun to school.

    I'm personally not comfortable with every teacher being armed. That's just too many guns in schools and I doubt anyone will give forth the money to lock them up properly... which then leads to the problem of accessing the gun in a time of need so... yeah.

    I do, on the other hand, like the idea of knowing there is a few people in the school who are properly trained and level-headed who are carrying a gun.

    I don't like the idea of guns being completely banned, mostly because I see it from my the situation of family members in rural areas where police in an immediate problem simply isn't an option when it comes to self-defense. My in-laws would be waiting over two hours for any police assistance and would probably die if someone wanted to kill them.

    I don't think there are any countries where guns are so banned to only police and military. I know people in England who went through the process to have personal guns. My cousin lives in Sweden and also is able to be a gun-owner.

    Gun control is a funny thing. From what I've observed, both sides pretty much want the same thing: safety measures from getting crazies shooting guns. But the word "gun control" is such a passionate word hardly anything gets properly discussed.
     
  24. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Oct 20, 2015

    This is actually something I have never considered throughout the whole guns-in-schools debate. I think that it raises some interesting questions and seems to emphasize even more that the needs and desires of the people in one area may differ from those of other people in another area.
     
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  25. ms.irene

    ms.irene Connoisseur

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    Oct 20, 2015

    This is definitely part of why guns are such a huge part of our culture, along with hunting which is a huge part of rural culture, as well. It goes back to the roots of American identity, the need to protect one's home and one's family without help from a distant, or distrusted, government body. Responsible gun owners are one thing -- responsible meaning licensed and trained, and keeping guns and ammunition away from children. No one is seriously talking about taking guns away from responsible gun owners. What we do need to be talking about is how we can increase controls to keep high-powered rifles out of the hands of mentally unstable killers. I simply cannot fathom how anyone can argue against common-sense regulations. You need to pass a test to drive a car, why not to own a gun?
     
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  26. Pashtun

    Pashtun Fanatic

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    Yet, Irene, the NRA is very much concerned and against what you state.
     
  27. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    To bring it back to the topic of guns-in-schools, the same would go for the school in my inlaw's community. I actually might have to ask my sister-in-law (who lives in the same town) how that school prepares and plans for such school shooter/intruder/etc. possibilities (because I happen to know that school district requires schools to have plans). I'm rather curious now.

    But yes, with all the different communities, a one-size-fits-all to handling gun violence might be more of a hindrance than a help.
     
  28. GeetGeet

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    I will start this post by admitting that I have not read beyond the first page. But this post resonated with me. I am a teacher who happens to be very liberal in most ways but I am also in favor of allowing an American citizen to own guns if he/she goes through the correct legal process to do so and learns how to handle a gun safely. I plan to get my pistol permit in the near future, but not really because I am a teacher, I just want to know how to use a gun in a way that is responsible.

    I think that the "right" to own a gun is important to so many Americans, partly because our country was created by rebellious people who fought their own government (with guns), and many continue to distrust authority. I don't necessarily agree with that sentiment, but it is the reality. I have more than a few friends who feel this way and I have come to understand that this is deeply important to them, and they aren't "rednecks" or even particularly violent (some hunt, most just want to protect their families).

    One of my friends' fathers is the child of Holocaust survivors, and he has legally obtained many guns (and is VERY responsible with them), and he feels strongly that a citizen should be allowed to own guns. He uses the argument that the Germans disarmed their citizens--rendering them defenseless--before committing those atrocities. Hearing that argument definitely made me understand his mindset especially because it was very personal to him.

    I would rather feel like I could defend my class of students than just sit on the floor in lockdown and shake with them. But I know that I am a very non-violent individual--for example, I could never hunt animals other than fish, and I don't eat animals other than fish. Therefore, I don't worry about myself being gun-happy. I could handle gun ownership responsibly. Not everyone can. Its a very complicated problem.
     
  29. GeetGeet

    GeetGeet Companion

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    Oct 20, 2015

     
  30. GeetGeet

    GeetGeet Companion

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    so smart--i agree.
     
  31. GeetGeet

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    Oct 20, 2015

    The current political climate doesn't really respect teachers' opinions in general, so I think we have all decided our voices don't matter and are easily dismissed. If we had more overall respect maybe we wouldn't feel like we deserved to be target practice (yes that analogy is intense but intentional)
     
  32. Mr.Me

    Mr.Me Rookie

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    Oct 22, 2015

    And mental health in our country.
     
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  33. blazer

    blazer Connoisseur

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    Oct 23, 2015

    I think I am right in thinking that the American right to bear arms come from the need to protect yourselves should us British decide to invade again. So perhaps we agreed never to invade you again you could retire that legislation?
     
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  34. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    One of my students lost two of his siblings this week to gun violence (purposefully being vague). I have no idea how to handle this one.
     
  35. Obadiah

    Obadiah Groupie

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    Oh,no! How horrible! My thoughts and prayers go out to you and your student.
     
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  36. 2ndTimeAround

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    Actually, MANY people are talking about taking guns away from responsible owners. Many people don't want police to carry guns on regular patrols.
     
  37. LouiseB

    LouiseB Cohort

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    Oct 24, 2015

    For our lockdown drills, we are told that we are not to open the door to anyone, even students who are out of the room, as we don't know who may be the problem. We have been told that the principal will use his key to open our door to tell us it is okay.
     
  38. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Oh, cat: my heart goes out to you and to your student and the student's family.
     
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  39. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    I want to send a condolence card to my student. Where do I begin?
     
  40. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    Oct 24, 2015

    Truthfully, I don't think I would do anything like this. I'm kind of weird about cards anyway (think Sheldon Cooper's "non-optional social convention" for my thoughts on them), but I don't think there's any way a card can possibly say what would need to be said in this situation. If I were to do anything, I'd buy them some type of healing-esque book and make myself available to them outside of classtime if they needed somebody outside the family to talk to.
     

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