Let's talk school shootings

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

  1. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    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 Maven

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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 Comrade

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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 Comrade

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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 Devotee

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    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
  7. Tyler B.

    Tyler B. Groupie

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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 Devotee

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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. Groupie

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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 Habitué

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    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. Groupie

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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 Maven

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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 Groupie

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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 Aficionado

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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 Maven

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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 Maven

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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. 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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  21. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    Several posts have been unapproved or deleted (no, it wasn't all my doing). This is a hot-button issue, but we can talk about it in terms of humanity, not politics.
     
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  22. Tyler B.

    Tyler B. Groupie

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    You misread my comments. I said we need to do something. Switzerland has a very high rate of gun ownership, but a stunningly low firearm murder rate. They accomplish this by rigorous training for all gun owners. Maybe that's the solution. If the KY student shooter or the Sandy Hook shooter who took a gun to school had a family that understood how to secure these weapons, we'd have fewer problems.

    To say we just need to address mental health is wholly inadequate. To protect our children, we need to have sensible control over all these guns.
     
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  23. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    Actually, I read all of your comments and re-read them. I didn't misread what you wrote. Your sole focus was on guns and limiting them. You actually complained that it shouldn't be a school problem to fix and went straight for the limiting of guns.

    Do you really think the murder rate is low because people are trained using guns? It most likely has to do with the attitude of the citizens. Guns don't shoot people, people shoot guns.

    Sandy Hook? Really? The mom had a gun safe. You have no idea how he go the gun for sure. He may have know the combination or knew where the key was placed. Maybe he searched for it. You don't know for sure, nor do the authorities because the mom was killed as well as the murderer. We aren't talking about a toddler or young child getting the guns.

    The KY shooting. You also don't know how he got the gun.

    Mental health and societal changes will mostly clear up this problem because it takes a person. Gun grabs won't fix the underlying problem.
     
  24. AlwaysAttend

    AlwaysAttend Fanatic

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    Why would rigorous training lower murder rate? That’s like saying if we made drivers licensing tougher it would reduce the rate of drunk driving arrests.
     
  25. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    Husband works in security. Recently he was part of an active shooter drill that was a little different from others he has seen. It taught the participants to recognize key things--apparently, in office/school settings, gunfire is often mistaken for typical loud office sounds. He thought that sort of thing would be wonderful for schools to experience (not necessarily the students as it was a pretty intense scenario, but great for teachers).
     
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  26. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    I lean more toward gun-ownership rights than away from them, but it just seems smart for gun owners to really know how to use them. (Sadly, despite my husband owning a few, my 4-year-old knows more about them than I do--Husband drills her in gun safety constantly. Husband grew up on a ranch in the MIddle of Nowhere and intense gun training was just part of growing up).

    So... is it really wrong to expect gun owners to be rigorously trained?
     
  27. AlwaysAttend

    AlwaysAttend Fanatic

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    I’m fine with rigorous training. But if anything, it would make someone more lethal, not less.
     
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  28. ms.irene

    ms.irene Connoisseur

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    I personally am an advocate for sensible gun control. I am putting that (huge) part of the equation aside for the purpose of a non-political forum.

    So aside from gun control, what can we be doing to prevent these kinds of shootings? I mean, as in prevent them from occurring? What do we mean by "address mental health"? How can we actively identify kids who are struggling or marginalized, and what can we actually do to remedy this? There was a post going around social media for a while about "how one teacher prevents school shootings" by basically doing a sociogram -- having kids write the names of three kids they would like to work with -- to identify the kid who no one wanted. OK...so what does she do next with that information? Most of us don't need to take a survey to know which kids in our classes are isolated and struggling socially. What do we do about it? How do we help? I for one have gotten zero training in this area.
     
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  29. Always__Learning

    Always__Learning Comrade

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    Switzerland isn't a great comparison in my view. Switzerland had a canton where women didn't get the right to vote until the 90s. The context for why they have gun ownership is different: all men in Switzerland are part of the reserves. (The lack of women's equity and the fact that they are not drafted into the reserves in my view are related). Men in the reserves train regularly during their adult years to protect the country as they are a neutral country. Of course they have guns, they use them regularly as part of their training. In this case, the reason for gun ownership in my view matters if we are comparing it to the US.
     
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  30. AlwaysAttend

    AlwaysAttend Fanatic

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    Context
     
  31. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Depends on the training. If all the training is focused on better aim, then, yes: trained gun owners will be more lethal. But there's no reason not to mandate firearms training that's more comprehensive, to include perhaps footage of both the intended and unintended effects of gunfire on materials ranging from ceiling drywall (and who might be in the line of fire upstairs) to human flesh and a thorough discussion of the legal and social ramifications of gunfire.
     
  32. AlwaysAttend

    AlwaysAttend Fanatic

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    How exactly would that stop murder? The people who sit through those classes are not the people spraying bullets in neighborhoods and schools.
     
  33. Tyler B.

    Tyler B. Groupie

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    Really? The problem is not that the country is awash in guns?

    Really? Just deal with mental health and it will all go away?

    Do other countries keep their murder rate down by catching bullied children before they can kill their classmates? No. Other countries have common sense gun laws that keep kids safe.

    We need to protect our children. That's a higher priority than keeping bump stocks available.
     
  34. AlwaysAttend

    AlwaysAttend Fanatic

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    Maybe we should all just live in bubbles.
     
  35. Belch

    Belch Companion

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    I highly doubt that you're going to get your second amendment removed from the bill of rights, so your "common sense" solution is a pipe dream, thus not common sense.

    If you want my advice, the only thing you can do in a classroom is to try to get your students to empathize with others. That's the opposite of what happens when countries are at war. They issue propaganda that attempts to dehumanize their opponents so that pointing a gun and shooting it at "the enemy" isn't like shooting a human being. It's more like doing the world a favor by removing an obstacle.

    This isn't going to stop violence, of course, but instilling empathy in students and trying to convince them that they are all the same tribe can't hurt.
     
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  36. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Huh: I didn't know that no one is ever injured or killed by a gun by accident. Fancy that.

    But blowing off the very idea of firearms training that is more far-reaching than "Here: shoot closer to this mark" amounts to claiming that if the whole problem can't be solved in one stroke by one simple change, there's no point even bothering to try to tackle any part of it.
     
  37. AlwaysAttend

    AlwaysAttend Fanatic

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  38. AlwaysAttend

    AlwaysAttend Fanatic

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    The examples listed included understanding how bullets pierce through flesh, ceilings, and drywall. If you are shooting at someone you are trying to kill them. You aren’t really concerned with where the bullet goes after.
     
  39. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    I was looking at training in terms of the thread's purpose and posed question. How do we stop the school shootings. In those cases, training isn't really a solution. These aren't accidental shootings.

    I'm all for gun training, even better if it is free to all so that all people know gun safety even if they don't own a weapon.

    When we are looking at school shootings and mass shootings, guns aren't doing the shooting, people are. Our country is a societal mess. We have abandoned caring about others for the most part (even those who have chosen an agenda and will help their particular group). We devalue people all of the time in many different ways. No wonder life is so meaningless to others or they have to speak so loudly to get heard (mass shooting).

    Until we solve the problem of devaluing others, this problem won't be fixed.
     
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  40. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    A country that can't even ensure that its citizens have any health care at all isn't going to 'solve mental health problems'.
     
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  41. Tyler B.

    Tyler B. Groupie

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    A resident of the US is 25 times more likely to be killed by a gun than any other developed country. Are you saying this horrifying statistic is a result of mental health and not lax gun laws? Crazy people can walk into a store and buy bump stocks and high capacity magazines. This literally converts a semi-automatic assault rifle to a machine gun.

    Japan has just as many mentally ill people as a percentage as the US but nearly no mass shootings. To say the solution to our problem is some vague suggestion that we should be nicer to each other is absurd. We need common sense gun laws.
     
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