Let's talk school shootings

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

  1. Tyler B.

    Tyler B. Groupie

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    People who fail the training do not get a gun.
     
  2. ms.irene

    ms.irene Connoisseur

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    I wonder if a side effect of the mandatory service and training is that young men, in particular, end up feeling needed, included, and important, in a way that many young men in the US don't. I am not in favor of instituting mandatory service, but it often occurs to me how many young men we seem to have in this country who seem so isolated and purposeless. It appears to me that many of the young men who do these shootings tend to be these kind of unmoored young men. So I would go back to my original question -- what can we do to help engage this kind of young person and give them a role where they feel needed and important?
     
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  3. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    Japanese have very different attitudes toward society than we, as Americans, do. They have very different attitudes about saving face and not doing things that will bring disgrace on families.

    This explains things well:
    https://qz.com/742140/why-are-mass-murders-so-uncommon-in-japan/

    Japan has a very different culture which has been my point all along. You keep pointing out different countries and their "gun control" but keep ignoring how different the culture.

    Thanks for making my point for me. You probably picked out one of the most different cultures than the American culture when it comes to dislike of violence, importance of communal harmony, need to save face, and lack of drugs.
     
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  4. ms.irene

    ms.irene Connoisseur

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    A country at war...like the US.
     
  5. ms.irene

    ms.irene Connoisseur

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    Tyler, I happen to agree with you, but I also think this forum might not be the place to argue for gun control laws. While we personally advocate for what we believe in politically, what can we be doing in our classrooms in the meantime to create change?
     
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  6. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    So... we want to discourage gun owners from knowing about their weapons?
     
  7. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    You need to look at the comment in terms of the discussion.... What will help curb school shootings?

    In those terms, Always' statement makes sense. No one yet has explained how training will help solve this problem. Sure it may help accidental shootings, but these school shootings have not been accidental.
     
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  8. Tyler B.

    Tyler B. Groupie

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    You're probably right. As individuals we can't fix the gun laws, but as teachers we can watch over our students as best we can.

    However, as a parent and teacher, it irks me when the nation shrugs after each school shooting. This forum is about teaching and education, so the topic of school shootings does fit with the spirit of the forum, but (like most threads) has drifted away from the original post. As educators, it's worthwhile to discuss solutions to this avoidable problem.
     
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  9. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    Other than a gun grab, what is your solution that you can do in school even though you think it shouldn't be your problem.
     
  10. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    I did also cite "a thorough discussion of the legal and social ramifications of gunfire", did I not?
     
  11. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Something that I've always found interesting is that most school shootings seem to happen in rural and suburban areas. Can you think of an incident that happened at an inner-city, urban school? And yet, the kids in those inner-city schools have wide access to guns, especially handguns. There is probably more gun violence in the neighborhoods around the schools in those inner-city areas than there is at the schools themselves, whereas the reverse seems to be true when it comes to school shootings in rural and suburban areas.

    I wonder if the statistics support these observations. If these observations are accurate, I wonder what explains them.
     
  12. AlwaysAttend

    AlwaysAttend Fanatic

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    They also have locations in the forests people venture to just to commit suicide. Should we ban camping?
     
  13. AlwaysAttend

    AlwaysAttend Fanatic

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    Why would they fail the training?
     
  14. AlwaysAttend

    AlwaysAttend Fanatic

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    No
     
  15. AlwaysAttend

    AlwaysAttend Fanatic

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    You want them to sit in a circle and discuss why shooting guns can lead to bad things? Are they going to speak in mataphor, or get gowned up while instructor shoots at a watermelon and the class gets covered in it? “Ladies and gentlemen, this melon splatter represents the ramifications of every bullet you fire.”

    That would be some discussion...
     
  16. AlwaysAttend

    AlwaysAttend Fanatic

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    Anecdotally, kids get shot in blocks around the school at an astronomically hire rate than rural and suburban schools. Why sneak a gun into a school and get caught when you can do it when they walk home and get away with it?
     
  17. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    I did mention gun violence in inner-city neighborhoods.

    Still, we don't really see mass shootings in those neighborhoods. When it comes to most school shootings in rural and suburban areas, the motive is not about gangs or drugs, and the goal seems to be to harm as many people as possible. We hear about the shooters being victims of bullying or social outcasts. Surely there are also victims of bullying and social outcasts at inner-city schools. Why are they not resorting to mass shootings?
     
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  18. AlwaysAttend

    AlwaysAttend Fanatic

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    Check the absenteeism and dropout rates and that will shed light too.
     
  19. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    Fabulous question. Definitely something to look into. Could it be that seeing such horrendous violence around them all the time that the bullied may choose to not resort to that behavior? Could it be those that would be the most bullied join gangs and believe they have those that have their backs? Could it be that the types of bullying is different? Could it be the expectations of rural and suburban kids is set higher in their areas which means being lower is seen as a greater cost?
     
  20. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    But it's not that inner-city kids are committing mass shootings in places besides school. They're not committing mass shootings period, at least not with random targets or where the goal is to harm as many people as possible. There may be situations (likely involving gangs and/or drugs) where multiple people are shot, but that's arguably different from a mass shooting like what we're talking about here.
     
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  21. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    Were the targets really random in the KY shooting or were so many kids bullies that they were all complicit in his mind (like killing a gang member just because he was in the gang that did something to one of your gang members). In this case the students and teachers were the focus of his torment or anger. It didn't necessarily have to be one.
     
  22. viola_x_wittrockiana

    viola_x_wittrockiana Comrade

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    There's several differences that might explain why these events tend not to happen in inner-city settings. One obvious one is that many inner-city schools have metal detectors and resource officers. Another possible one is that more inner-city students have family that have either been victims of shootings or are incarcerated, which means that they have a better grasp of the ramifications. In hunting areas, it's not a red flag to see a teen with a gun like it is elsewhere.

    The size of the student body is a possible factor as well. If your class is ultra small, everyone has to be reasonably civil to everyone or it just gets too awkward for everyone. If your class is large, it's more likely that you'll fall in with a group of like-minded people. Small, but not ultra small is where there's problems. It's big enough for groups to form, but not enough to support very many. If the groups are jocks and artsy kids and you're neither, it's tough.

    I don't know if it's an issue in Benton specifically, but I do know that drugs are a massive problem in the region and have been for decades. I also know that the type of bullying that goes on can be ruthless. I have a distant cousin who stood out too much because he was smart and people didn't like it. He was bullied as a child and framed for a crime as a teen. He wasn't a stoner or athlete or FFA-type, so he had no group protection. He stood out, so bullies ruined his life.
     
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  23. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    The Onion, as with so many things, basically summarizes my thought on this entire issue:

    https://www.theonion.com/no-way-to-prevent-this-says-only-nation-where-this-r-1819580358

    The reality is, we all know the steps that need to be taken to prevent gun violence. It's just that, as a society, we've decided dead children are an acceptable price to pay for access to the sort of weaponry that the founding fathers could not have possibly conceived of.
     
  24. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    My final thoughts...
    If we change gun laws and they hinder access to the point that mass shootings don't happen as often, will people be happy that the problem is solved because the symptom of a broken society isn't as apparent? Seems to me it is like making a test so easy and claiming everyone in the class has met standards while those that are failing get hidden.

    Making stricter gun laws may (but I do not believe it will) make for fewer mass shootings, but the underlying problem will still remain. People having an immense desire to kill a bunch of people. That doesn't make for a good society.

    If society is improved to see violence as a bad thing, people will give up guns more readily because they will not feel the need for them.
     
  25. AlwaysAttend

    AlwaysAttend Fanatic

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    The only point to make is that this discussion is rediculous because nothing will change based on peoples hopes and dreams. That simply is not how the structure of our government works. Perhaps you should sit in the social studies classroom taught by one of your colleagues.

    The OP’s question was what to do to prevent school violence.
    Metal detectors, counseling programs, processes to put in place etc. These are examples of things that schools can accomplish.
     
  26. svassillion

    svassillion Companion

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    We can't prevent school shootings unless we understand the causes behind them. I do not know enough about most mass school shootings with the exception of Columbine to be able to generalize preventions for them. However, when considering Columbine I'd say Eric and Dylan's psychology played the strongest role, particularly Eric's who I would consider a sociopath as he felt zero empathy for others and enjoyed having power over other people's mortality. I'm currently watching Mindhunters on Netflix and I'm fascinated by what goes through a serial killer's mind and the events since childhood that set them in motion (FYI, I'm not fascinated with killing others, but rather the developments and growth of science and psychology in this area). What if we as educators could recognize these events in our students long before it grows into violence? We wouldn't be able to stop all school shootings, but would we be able to flag these individuals in their adolescence and get them help before they go on a mass shooting when they are 18 or 55? I know this mostly only applies to shootings with mass casualties, but I think it could be applied outside of schools too where it's still a common occurrence. I would love to know what you all think.
     
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  27. AlwaysAttend

    AlwaysAttend Fanatic

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    Personally, i’m just impressed with your ability to diagnose someone from beyond the grave who you never met as a sociopath.

    Unless you took the diagnosis from someone else who never met the person, or someone who had, but was not equipped to make a diagnosis. In that case, that’s just plagiarism.
     
  28. svassillion

    svassillion Companion

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    I did not intend to diagnose someone, especially someone I never met and died when I was nine. I'm also not a doctor nor expert in this area. None of us are which would make this thread irrelevant. My thoughts are a reaction from his journals he left behind. What I'm suggesting is what if trained professionals in diagnosing this behavior worked with educators to teach us warning signs? Similar to how we are taught to look for warning signs of abuse. Could that be an additional step schools could take after metal detectors, security officers, etc?
     
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  29. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    I appreciate the thought behind this, but I don't think it's a good idea. We teachers already wear so many hats. We teach, handle behavior, mentor, and feed students. We have to watch out for signs of abuse or neglect, bullying, and behaviors that might suggest special needs. Now we have to play psychologist too? That's too much for me. Where are all the other people in the "village"? Why must the burden of watching over, caring for, and modeling good citizenship for students rest solely on the shoulders of teachers?
     
  30. svassillion

    svassillion Companion

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    Good point!
     
  31. Belch

    Belch Companion

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    Possibly because that's what we advertise our wares as.

    We get paid because we say we can do those things. If it's not that in the states, then cool, but here in Japan, we are expected to do all of those things.

    What exactly are you paid for, if not for modeling good citizenship? Teaching students how to read? Not from what I've read here. Teaching them how to become good employees? Not from what I've read.

    I'm not trying to be divisive, but I do know that I am required to teach students how to fit in with society, yet every time I open my mouth here, I'm told "no".

    There has to be some responsibility, but as far as education in the states, I'm drawing a blank.
     
  32. AlwaysAttend

    AlwaysAttend Fanatic

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    That’s not what Caesar said. She said she should not be expected to figure out who is suffering from a psychological condition which may not be apparent to an untrained professional not in the field of psychology.
     
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  33. CherryOak

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    Regardless of gun laws, regardless of states, I think it would be good for education to develop/continue a unified movement to do whatever we can with what we directly control - our campuses, our people, our communication. The shootings are heartbreaking and they have more casualties than listed as some witnesses never really find a healthy footing afterwards. Are we really doing everything we can within our schools or are we letting all other actionable preventions fall on the public's shoulders? I ask this seriously as something I've often pondered. I don't know what needs to be done, but I do think educators are part of the drive to find a solution.
     
  34. Obadiah

    Obadiah Groupie

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    When I woke up this morning, this is where my thoughts were taking me. My question is, where are the parents in these situations? I want to be cautious in writing this statement, too; perhaps in some of these situations the parents have done all that they possibly could--perhaps. But I'm concerned that in the majority of situations, if not all, my question is legitimate. Parents are the most powerful influence in a child's life, and parental teaching, loving, and most importantly, listening goes a long, long way in guiding and directing a child.
     
  35. AlwaysAttend

    AlwaysAttend Fanatic

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    Parent learning nights are probably a good place to start then. Bribe them to get them in the door with food and gift card raffles.
     
  36. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    Yet how many kids are terribly bullied in school and nothing is ever done to help them? I've even seen teachers who contribute to the bullying of students by either their purposeful inaction or they are treating the student using tactics that reduce his social status making for an atmosphere that indicates it is ok to bully the child.
     
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  37. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    I wish this was the truth, but I don't believe it applies in many cases. Friends, internet, lack of friends, school environment, all play huge roles in a society that no longer values the family structure or values standards that are beneficial to society. There is no longer embarrassment for poor choices.

    Society tells kids that their parents are stupid. They know nothing and to rely on their peers or media whether social media or what tv/movies tells them.
     
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2018
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  38. Belch

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    Well okay, but my question has to do with what we are paid to do. If it's not figuring out psychological conditions, then that's one thing off the list. I assume we can also cross out doing backflips every time a student answers a question correctly.

    A guy hired to sell sausages has a responsibility to sell sausages, or he gets canned.

    What is our responsibility as teachers? You can cross out selling sausages, doing back flips, and making pancakes, but at some point, there has to be a responsibility somewhere down the line, but I'm not sure what that is in America.
     
  39. AlwaysAttend

    AlwaysAttend Fanatic

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    I’m willing to make pancakes
     
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  40. Belch

    Belch Companion

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    That certainly would be easier than trying to figure out why some students are climbing the walls while others are afraid to make eye contact and seemingly have no friends.

    I'm not trying to be hard, but I do think we have a responsibility to understand psychology so we can understand why students behave the way they do.

    That's what I've personally been working on for about five years now, and I admit it's slow going, and even slower knowing that there's very little I can do about it, except to empathize with the student's situation.

    Damnit Jim, I'm a teacher, not a psychologist!
     

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