Let's talk school shootings

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

  1. stephenpe

    stephenpe Connoisseur

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    Jan 31, 2018

    I've taught in rural schools for 40 years. Grades k-7. Small schools. I had one kid I know of that killed somebody. He smiled a lot in school but was not very smart. Young kids want one thing. Attention and affirmation of their worth. I have a great job in that I get to see all the kids each day. Just like with my children at home I can tell when a kid has something going on. To tell the truth I have lots of kids with crap in their lives. I try really hard to get them to open up. I also try hard to give them real attaboys when they perform good in my class. I have a boy who is upset. His stepdad left them and they are about to be homeless. His real dad is in prison. He loves PE and competing but his fuse is short. We talked a long time and I told him how I had parents mess up too. I let him talk. I asked if he would like to talk to a counselor and he said he'd rather talk to me.
    I have a new girl at my other school. She has never done much in PE I can tell. Poor self concept "I am no good at it I cant do it. I can't play to cause my leg......." she had seen two other girls that had to sit out with injuries) I told her she was fine. So she played today and gave great effort. I got in her face after class and told her how great she did. She finally looked me in the eye. I could tell she felt good about it. She says she likes soccer now.
    My point on these ramblings is kids need attention and support and to know that someone cares and will give them some time. We need mentors in schools to spend time with kids. Too many are in awful situations and are still expected to be normal in schools. When children in a school feel part of something and accepted they are less likely to withdraw and become a threat. Bottom line: kids need love.
     
  2. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    Jan 31, 2018

    Wow. Stephen, PLEASE tell me you will continue to add your :2cents: to the conversation after you retire. There is so much wisdom in that noggin of yours.
     
  3. creativemonster

    creativemonster Comrade

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    Feb 1, 2018

    ...AND today...in my district ...this morning. When will it end? I can't write much because I have trouble pulling issue out of political realm. All I can say is that today is Thursday. A twelve year old girl in the inner city is our shooter of the day. No reason given to public yet. twelve years old. Middle school. not my school, but my district. and it's news, but gotta say, not huge earth shattering news. School continued after shooter taken into custody. The local paper had a bigger article about parents coming to pick up their children.

    And sure, in inner city guns are also "a gang issue." (NOthing known about today - I'm talking generally) Does that make it less of an issue? Are gang students' lives less valuable? And no, I don't really believe anyone was saying that - I just think all gun deaths are tragic and I wish we didn't have to have this conversation - but we do, we do need it. We need all ideas, all brains in there helping.

    I'm sad about this.
     
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  4. Obadiah

    Obadiah Groupie

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    Feb 3, 2018

    I read an update on this last night. (Perhaps Creativemonster can provide more locally updated information, too). Apparently, the shooting was accidental, the girl had the pistol in her backpack and when her backpack dropped to the floor it discharged. She says she didn't realize it was loaded. The question still remains why did she have a loaded gun in her backpack. Fortunately, the injured victims will recover. But this girl, she's also a victim. A victim of her own error that almost killed two classmates.

    I recall the local sheriff's demonstration to our district's 3rd grade classes on how kids often mistake real guns for toy guns; they are somewhat difficult to tell apart. Guns are dangerous and are not to be explored or played with by children. The children would repeat several times with the sheriff's deputy, "Stop. Don't touch. Tell an adult."
     
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  5. creativemonster

    creativemonster Comrade

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    Feb 3, 2018

    I saw the same information. So we are left wondering how the child obtained a gun and bullets, and of course why did she bring it to school? I think the second question is far more important. Why did she bring it? How have we gotten to the point where a gun is a go to way to solve disputes? We as a society need to learn how to disagree. It needs to be a class we offer alongside math, english, and all our other core classes.
     
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  6. linswin23

    linswin23 Cohort

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    Feb 14, 2018

    Just woke up to the news...Florida. I feel sick to my stomach every time this happens. When will it stop happening? I had to turn the news off when they showed clips of the kids in the classrooms listening to the gun going off.
     
  7. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    Feb 14, 2018

    One county south of where my dad still coaches wrestling despite turning 69 this year. I fear for him and his charges. Meanwhile, two police officers, one of whom loved his extra duty hours at the local library, were killed just a few minutes from my home.
     
  8. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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  9. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    Feb 14, 2018

    I LOVE THIS.

    I was talking about one of my kindergarten kiddos today and told her teacher and our school counselor, "This sweet little thing has witnessed more violence, sadness, poverty, parental drug/alcohol abuse in her 5 years of life than most of us have ever gone though in our entire lifetime!" So sad.
     
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  10. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    Feb 14, 2018

    Once again, an ostracized student and social outcast....
     
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  11. TeacherWhoRuns

    TeacherWhoRuns Companion

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    Feb 14, 2018

    There was an article on Yahoo News (not sure of the specific source) that said that one school was banning "best friends" in an attempt to get kids to have many friends and include everyone.
    The comments were a slew of accusations of PC liberalism and people linking school shootings to too many rules - because that makes so much sense, right?
    In looking at how almost all of these cases are related to socialization, I'm not so sure it's an off-beat policy. It's odd, but well intended. Unfortunately, we can't legislate kids being kind to each other.
     
  12. webmistress

    webmistress Devotee

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    Feb 15, 2018

    That's what I've been preaching these past few weeks on here. They need to feel apart of school, a part of the curriculum, a part of the teacher's thoughts, the social events, the community etc and accepted for who or what they are.

    (Of course there's no easy fix, no one size fits all solution...) I'm not necessarily talking about school shooters, but just too many kids in general who misbehave, usually they all have sad things in common regarding home life.

    I'm a volunteer/mentor and trying to encourage these middle schoolers to journal and set goals for themselves. Some are trying!
    It's like in middle school, some of them still want to try, there's still hope. I've never volunteered with high schoolers. I imagine more have given up by then and are harder to encourage?
     
  13. Obadiah

    Obadiah Groupie

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    Feb 15, 2018

    I started writing something yesterday and didn't. I still don't know what to say...what can be said. It's such a senseless act. It doesn't benefit anyone. The shooters either end up committing suicide, are killed by police, or spend the rest of their lives in jail. The shootings interrupt, terminate the lives of innocent victims.

    Last night I was reading about ostracism. The author, (David Jeremiah), was referring to examples of people who are too proud to associate with those deemed lower than oneself. Later, on the Internet, I forget which website, I was reading an autobiographical account of prejudice against others. I'm currently reading the scariest book I've ever read, the children's book Refugee by Alan Gratz, a historical fiction account of three families desperately escaping adverse conditions in their home countries; one horrific chapter details violent torment of a Jewish family by Nazis. Perhaps if society showed more appreciation for others rather than depreciation, perhaps....would school shootings decrease rather than increase?
     
  14. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Feb 15, 2018

    That is a powerful book--I read it with my class earlier this year. The parallels between the stories are incredible; it's scary to see how little has changed.
     
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  15. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Phenom

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    Feb 15, 2018

    Just today the teachers at my school were told that we're having an emergency preparedness training. I'm thinking the recent events have spurred this on. Has anyone had this training? I'm wondering what it will consist of. It will last 2 hours.
     
  16. blazer

    blazer Connoisseur

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    Feb 15, 2018

  17. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Feb 15, 2018

    All school flags in my district are lowered to half-mast today.
     
  18. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    Feb 15, 2018

    Is it ALICE training?
     
  19. TeacherCuriousExplore

    TeacherCuriousExplore Cohort

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    Feb 15, 2018

    My mom told me that she will be installing a new system in her preschool that checks for people who come in. As for now, she told me that she's locking the doors and will be in the office to hear the knocks.
     
  20. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Phenom

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    Feb 15, 2018

    The email didn't say. It will be held on Feb 26th for about 2 hours.
     
  21. Obadiah

    Obadiah Groupie

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    Feb 15, 2018

    The school I was at had training with the state police awhile back, and I think it was quite worthwhile. I'm not at liberty to share all that was discussed, but without the training, I would not have known what was mentioned. The major goal, I think, was that we all had a plan and knew what each other would be doing, but we also learned how to improvise as needed.
     
  22. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    Feb 15, 2018

    Flags in my state are already at half-mast because of the two officers killed in Westerville.

    On my way in to school today, I spent the whole commute pondering what areas would be safe if someone walked in and opened fire. I'm in one of the only areas in the school that has a lockable door. Most of my students and coworkers would perish if someone came in with an AR-15. Not a fun thought so early in the day.
     
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  23. Been There

    Been There Habitué

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    Feb 15, 2018

    I've always felt that many problems facing our public schools persist due to insufficient will and applied common sense. Both the frustrated kindergarten teacher who can't control her "kiddos" and the condescending principal of an out-of-control, low-performing school share these undesirable traits. We've been brainwashed into thinking that whenever there's any school-wide problem that more training is needed. The growing number of school shootings will no doubt spur many districts to impose PD workshops for everyone on their payrolls, but as many of us are painfully aware, schools are not known for their ability to problem-solve. Most of all, we don't need to once again engage in endless debate nor waste billions of dollars.

    The current rise in school violence reminds me of the old adage, "where there's a will, there's a way". I'm also reminded of a personal experience that demonstrates what we did at one school. About thirty years ago, I was a highly-motivated principal wannabe in San Francisco where it's common for aspiring principals to be assigned summer school principalships to try out their wings. That summer I was assigned to be the principal of the only middle school that was open for business. As I later learned, not only would the school be filled with regular students, but also many of those who failed to meet the requirements for promotion (i.e. high school).

    In typical public school fashion, I never received any forewarning of what would transpire over the next six weeks. After a few days on the job, I finally figured out the reason I was assigned two assistant principals and five classified security guards for 600 students and 30 teachers. Within the first week, the three principal wannabes and security personnel were busy apprehending rival gang members engaged in fights, confiscating drugs (quaaludes and marijuana) and collecting weapons that were hidden in bushes around the campus in preparation for after school confrontations. Imagine finding chains, knives (9" blades), pipes and even a sledge hammer! The school quickly became a hotspot for rival gangs from all over the city, especially at dismissal - this was to be our trial by fire!

    I used a collaborative management approach which is foreign to most school administrators. After receiving input from teachers, security guards and students, we developed a strategic plan that enabled us to regain full control of the school by the second week. Thanks to the support of the district office we took the following measures to ensure students' safety: holes in the school's chain link fence were mended, all exterior school doors were locked to prevent access from the outside, police presence before and after school, district office administrators present after school and sentries at key locations. The greatest compliment I received was a comment from a visitor who complained that getting into the school was like getting into Fort Knox! All she had to do was ring the doorbell.

    Surprisingly, thanks to my amazing team, students' apprehension soon subsided and with some trepidation we even allowed them to organize a school dance (after school no less) to end the summer school program with positive memories. "Where there's a will, there's a way." Who needs yet another task force that involves endless meetings ad nauseam?

    BTW, on a side note, I noticed that most schools in Asian countries have strict policies with regard to who is allowed to enter school grounds- all visitors are typically escorted to the office on arrival.
     
  24. viola_x_wittrockiana

    viola_x_wittrockiana Comrade

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    Feb 16, 2018

    I'm working at a community college and just got an email about active shooter training. It's up on Blackboard for us to do on our own or if we get 10+ people together we can have a proper in-person training. We also got reminders about counseling services and the behaviour intervention team. It's kind of interesting to see those services at a CC. I'm not sure if it's a sign that we are responding to a need or a sign that things are going too far astray well before the kids get to us.
     
  25. blazer

    blazer Connoisseur

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  26. Belch

    Belch Companion

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    Feb 17, 2018

    Yes, our campuses are generally very much closed to the general public. However, this has more to do with keeping control over what happens, rather than security precautions.

    We're not worried that people will start killing our students, but rather there is a set routine that we like to maintain. Kids come to school, and the only people they come into contact with are classmates and teachers.

    There is a routine, and this is considered very important because... I guess it's akin to the difference between speaking in front of an unknown audience, and speaking to friends and family. It's the same behavior, but students feel more comfortable with their friends.
     
  27. Belch

    Belch Companion

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    Feb 17, 2018

    Why the focus upon "gun violence"? Isn't any type of violence considered bad?

    Honestly, I'd say this focus upon gun violence shows an attempt to blame guns for the violence that your country suffers from, and shows an obvious political bias.

    You know, as well as I do, that the majority of this gun violence is due to suicides. But you include that stat as if it is meaningful.

    I think the meaning is clear, and that it is political. Otherwise, you would be worried about violence, no matter how it manifests.

    Think of including irrelevant statistics as a way to gauge intellectual honesty. If I were to include the number of deaths in Asia each year due to choking on rice, would you not conclude that rice should be banned in Asia? Or, would you conclude that I had some problem with allowing people to eat rice?
     
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  28. blazer

    blazer Connoisseur

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    Rice is not produced with the intention of causing death or injury. Whereas guns.....
     
  29. Belch

    Belch Companion

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    Feb 18, 2018

    If we want to talk about intent, then would we also not include police with firearms? Something that I believe the police used to apprehend the young man who committed all of those murders.

    Maybe you can trust your police more than I can trust mine, but the way of it with Japanese police is to show up afterwards and start looking for clues as to who might have killed somebody.

    I'd rather be the one telling the police why I had to defend myself using lethal means, rather than ending up in the morgue with a tag on my toe.

    Sorry, but I think injecting manufacturer "intent" into the discussion is just as intellectually dishonest as using "gun violence".
     
  30. Always__Learning

    Always__Learning Comrade

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    Feb 18, 2018

    Belch did you read the whole article?
     
  31. Tyler B.

    Tyler B. Groupie

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    Feb 18, 2018

    Now that students appear to be activated, maybe the NRA-bought legislators can be replaced and we can get military style weapons out of the consumer market.
     
  32. Belch

    Belch Companion

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    The one you posted? I skimmed it, but didn't find it particularly compelling or offering anything in the way of new ideas.

    The whole idea seems to be that if Americans weren't armed, then there would be fewer murders. This might be the case, or it might not, but hardly realistic. It's a thought experiment that has been made many times, but it's not going to happen.

    This is a reality that Americans need to understand, or you're going to go through this same boring conversation about gun legislation every single time another person goes off the deep end and kills a lot of people with a gun. Some will dance on the graves of dead kids to demand that Americans not be allowed to own guns, and the other side will dance on the graves of dead kids demanding to be allowed greater access to guns.

    There will be another shooting soon, and you'll be able to see whether my prediction holds true, but I doubt we need another one for you to concede that I am correct.
     
  33. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    How has Japan stemmed the tide of mass shootings?
     
  34. Belch

    Belch Companion

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    Are you worried about shootings or lethal violence? If it is shootings, then Japan accomplished that through centuries of living under a feudal system that made it a capital offense for anybody other than members of the upper classes to own weapons.

    If, however, you desire to curb violence, then it is due to having a homogeneous society who all share the same values. If you have ever been here, you would know that it is a mono-culture, meaning that we all share the same basic moral values. My neighbors, my colleagues, and my family all share the same ideas of what is right and wrong, thus there is social pressure to conform to accepted norms.

    Oh the other hand, Americans seem to value diversity, which necessarily means diverse moral values. With those diverse moral values necessarily comes conflict.
     
  35. JimG

    JimG Comrade

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    Feb 18, 2018

    I haven’t read through all six pages here, so maybe this has already been discussed.

    I think the two areas in a school where a student assailant could do the most damage are a crowded lunch room and a gym during an assembly. Lots of easy, clean lines of sight in those scenarios, and many students would be stuck behind bottlenecks at the exits.

    Does anybody’s school take measures to reduce these vulnerabilities? I think an obvious solution would be to ban students from bringing backpacks or coats to such areas, making it more difficult to conceal a weapon. I plan to bring this up with my principal when I see him this week.
     
  36. Belch

    Belch Companion

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    You want to ban students from wearing backpacks and coats to gym class and a lunch room?

    Would that have stopped any school shooting in the history of school shootings?
     
  37. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Feb 18, 2018

    My school doesn't allow backpacks or hoodies. I'm more worried about the six hundred entrances (slight exaggeration), since my building was built pre-Columbine.
     
  38. Belch

    Belch Companion

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    Feb 18, 2018

    How do your students bring their textbooks, pencils, notebooks, etc. to school if they can't bring backpacks?
     
  39. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Feb 18, 2018

    They can bring backpacks to school, but they can't carry them around. Backpacks have to stay in their lockers, and they're not allowed to go to their lockers during the instructional day. Students are given large binders with space for their supplies, and they carry them around all day.
     
  40. Belch

    Belch Companion

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    Feb 19, 2018

    I have seen the contents of many student backpacks or bags over the years, and well... textbooks and notebooks generally account for quite a lot of the bulk.

    My students also have binders, but those are used to store notes during their classes.

    No textbooks?
     

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