Poll: Class sizes and fire codes....

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Caesar753, May 23, 2011.

?

What would you do?

  1. Call the fire department

    5 vote(s)
    33.3%
  2. Ignore it

    4 vote(s)
    26.7%
  3. Something else

    6 vote(s)
    40.0%
  1. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    May 23, 2011

    I learned today that my state's fire codes require schools to provide a minimum of 20 square feet per person in a classroom. With my class sizes of 40 to 50+, my classroom is evidently grossly undersized.

    What would you do with information like this?
     
  2.  
  3. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    May 23, 2011

    We are also not up to code. But forty and fifty+ is ridiculous assuming your classroom is of "average" or "typical" size.
     
  4. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    May 23, 2011

    It is ridiculous.

    The problem is that I don't know what can be done about it. I mean, our school has X number of students to cram into Y number of classrooms that are of Z size. I don't know where they'd put the kids that they'd have to remove from my room to get it up to code. Even if they knocked down walls and made the rooms twice as large, they'd cut the number of classrooms in half. It's a mess.
     
  5. callmebob

    callmebob Enthusiast

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    May 23, 2011

    The problem with this is, if the district was forced to make a change, where would the money come from. I think in situations like this, the state should be forced to come up with the extra money to provide a portable or something.
    This is one of many citizen issues that come up when working in a school. Is it your duty to call on it and report what is leagally right. Same idea as students who you know are illegal. Do you go by the law, or what you feel you should be doing for your job.
    Job vs. law.
     
  6. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    May 23, 2011

    I won't report students who are here illegally and I am pretty sure that it is illegal for me to ask their status.

    I am considering reporting this to the fire department, although it seems to me that they should already know.
     
  7. callmebob

    callmebob Enthusiast

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    May 23, 2011

    That is your choice, one of the many we as teachers have to make everyday.
    For me the illegal citizen issue is the bigger deal. The fire code, though I know it can be a problem (has been in our district in the past), not one that I think something can as easily be done about.
     
  8. janney

    janney Cohort

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    May 23, 2011

    Have you checked for a grandfather clause on the fire codes?
     
  9. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    May 23, 2011

    What is that?
     
  10. janney

    janney Cohort

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    May 23, 2011

  11. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    May 23, 2011

    That's what I thought you meant. My building is only seven years old, so I don't think such a clause would apply.
     
  12. TeacherApr

    TeacherApr Groupie

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    May 23, 2011

    I would call the fire dept and ask. "If a classroom is x amount in size and there are x number of students, is that against fire code? If so, what do I do about this as I am concerned for the safety of the students?" That's what I would do.
     
  13. EdEd

    EdEd Aficionado

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    May 24, 2011

    Caesar, is it square foot per child in the classroom in particular, 20 square foot per child with the rest of the school also considered in the equation, such as cafeteria, hallways, etc. In other areas I'm more familiar in, square footage is usually calculated in usable space, not by specific room. Not sure about school codes, though.

    In general, I agree with callmebob to a degree - what would you like to see happen? Do you think the district has a lot of money they're holding back, or otherwise allocating, that would be diverted to decreasing class size if you were to report it?
     
  14. TeacherApr

    TeacherApr Groupie

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    May 24, 2011

    ??? I believe safety would be the issue wouldn't it? Not finding some loophole to make sure class size is low......

    As far as square foot per child in the classroom...yes, at least according to the fire dept. here it would be. When I called last summer about it, it was per room. If you look in your cafeteria, there is a maximum capacity.....for that room.
     
  15. Rox

    Rox Cohort

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    May 24, 2011

    Even if you called the fire department, what could be done about it? Would they/someone force the school to install more classrooms? Larger classrooms? Kick some students out? Slap a fine on the school? Close the school?

    I'm not sure I like some of these potential consequences.
     
  16. EdEd

    EdEd Aficionado

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    May 24, 2011

    Typically the square foot requirements of building/occupancy codes tend to be larger than is needed for actual physical safety.
     
  17. silverspoon65

    silverspoon65 Enthusiast

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    May 24, 2011

    I would talk to a union rep and then bring it to the principal's attention.
     
  18. TeacherApr

    TeacherApr Groupie

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    May 25, 2011

    I'm pretty sure the fire dept. would fine the school and may require them to make adjustments. I support this. Why? Because schools are taking advantage with what is going on in classrooms by shoving kids into a room. It's not really our problem if school districts are having issues with budgeting while their superintendents and other upper admins are making 6 figure salaries while teachers are suffering and living paycheck to paycheck (some...not all...)
     
  19. hatima

    hatima Devotee

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    May 25, 2011

    I know that issue came up here. I'm sure as the budget cuts continue to slash education funding it will only get worse. I would talk to your union. Talk to the Fire Department. I would then send an open letter to the politicians and media outlets of the area presenting them with the danger involved in under funding the schools. Explaining the dangers of how difficult it would be to get safely if there was a fire. (that may be unpopular because it may be considered portraying schools as unsafe)
     

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