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  1. #1
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    Mar. 14, 2010
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    Default How should schools handle the recent shooting?

    Not sure if this has been covered at all.

    I work in kindergarten at a public school. We received an email from the superintendent with some general information about how our school will be handling the recent news.

    Basically, we are now locking exterior doors, and there is also a staff member stationed by the front door at all times. We were instructed to change the subject if our students had any questions about the CT shooting.

    Personally, I feel like more needs to be done (intruder drill at least!!) for security, and I feel like it is wrong to ignore the students questions. Yes, theyre very young but I bet most of them have heard something about it.

    What are your thoughts on this? Should I chat with the school counselor and share my thoughts? I'm a lowly TA, so I don't want to step on any toes....
    Charlie Brown (1994 bay TB X gelding)
    White Star (2004 grey TB gelding)

    Mystical Moment, 1977-2010.


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  2. #2
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    Feb. 21, 2009
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    I went through ALiCE training as a requirement by my university for anyone in a K-12 education program. I can't recommend it highly enough. It stands for Alert, Lockdown, inform, Counter, Evade. It goes beyond typical lockdown procedures and teaches you what to do if, God forbid, someone does enter your room. It went through a demonstration of how much of sitting targets we are when we're all crouched in one corner of the room.

    One of the first things I did this morning was recommend the program to my P. He's going to talk it over with our superintendent. Even if we don't go through it as a staff, I feel better prepared having that knowledge. We do lockdown drills and think about locking the intruder out but what happens if he/she manages to get in or if he/she is already in (like at Chardon). Or when the shooting occurs in an open area.

    I would mention something if you feel you need to. I thought about not mentioning anything about the training I went through, but it literally could be a matter of life and death.
    No hour of life is wasted that is spent in the saddle. ~Winston Churchill
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  3. #3
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    Feb. 27, 2004
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    My sister teaches at a small town high school. All the schools k-12 share same campus. She is in a small building (formally a band hall) separate from any of the othe school buildings, which she shares with another teacher. There is almost no way to secure all the doors in all the buildings. Nor is there reliable communication between all buildings. It is a security nightmare.



  4. #4
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    Aug. 5, 2006
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    Default

    Here in our county....at least the middle schools and high schools have an actual policeman on campus I'm not sure if they are armed or not.....but at this point, I hope they at least have access to a gun if needed.

    I think at the very least, schools need to improve classroom doors...something without windows, heavy, and one hell of a heavy duty lock. I'm guessing the first two classrooms in this latest attack didn't have enough warning, so there wasn't much they could do.

    As I told my husband...you really cannot stop crazy. Hell, this one shot his way through a locked door. Other than armor windows and doors, what else can you do? And that won't help if the perp is a student or someone already on the inside.


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  5. #5
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    Dec. 22, 2000
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    NY
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    Default

    A friend of mine has a seven year old son. She received a call over the weekend to notify her that there would be a state trooper on duty at her son's elementary school today. This is a very small school in a village that does not even have a stop light. All the other schools in that town were also planning to have police on the property today. I have not heard how long this arrangement will continue.

    Scary world.


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  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar. 4, 2010
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    Default

    At the risk of being flamed, I do have to say that after listening to what some of the schools are doing or thinking of doing, there is a huge amount of fear (understandable) driving some irrational behavior on the part of school districts. Look, a determined person can beat most or all security measures. Having an armed policeman on campus makes everyone feel better, but someone with malicious intent can easily overwhelm a surprised security guard. The only reason I can think of to heighten some security measures right now is to deter the copycat wingnuts and the evil pranksters (we had several of these today in our area).

    It's just like after 9/11 - some heightened and improved security measures are no doubt justified. Only allowing access from one point is one of those, as are a number of other suggestions from seasoned professionals. But I think people aren't willing to admit right now that NO security, NO firearms on premises, can completely stop someone who is bound and determined to do harm. This incident has pointed out that we are always vulnerable to some degree, as are our children, and that's a hard thing to live with.

    It will be quite some time before people can calm down - and I understand that. In the meantime, some school administrators need to take a deep breath, do what can reasonably be done, take measures to help folks understand that the risk of this happening again are quite small, and pray for all of us.


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  7. #7
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    Oct. 26, 2000
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    Tempe, AZ
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    Default

    Our schools are surrounded by fences & locked gates already. Cameras were in the process of being installed.

    Now the front doors will be secured & all access will be through office door, during school hours. Seems reasonable.
    ~ Horse Box Lovers Clique ~



  8. #8
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    Dec. 22, 2000
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    NY
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    Default

    I have to wonder what changes I would notice if I went back for a visit to the schools I attended as a kid.


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  9. #9
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    Jan. 30, 2010
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    Alberta
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    Default

    Is there not a greater risk of damage by raising/teaching kids in an abience of fear?

    I just don't see this one act as being a signal that more similar acts are to follow (I mean, I am sure they will, but in an unrelated way), but the extreme knee jerk reactions might make the kids think that they ARE at high risk. I hope the schools that take these actions have councillors on staff, before kids start seeing danger everywhere. I can't imagine what type of adults we will create if we raise kids in a cycle of fear.

    Will locking the doors put more kids at risk if the psycho is already in the school (thinking classmate or teacher)? Or what about if there is a fire?

    I know our local schools do drills, and have mass texting set up to send alerts to students and staff.
    Freeing worms from cans everywhere!


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  10. #10
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    Jul. 17, 2008
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    WNY
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    Our superintendent had a meeting for us this morning saying that we are not to address it with our class and if a child asks us about it we are to pull them aside at some point during the day and ask them what they heard, then tell them they are 100% safe at our school. We were not allowed to say that it could happen etc.

    We also do not practice lock down procedures, which I think is ridiculous. I used to work in a city school and we would go into serious lock down a few times a year due police chasing people with guns drawn across our fields. Now I work in the country and they really do seem to think it won't happen. We do lock our doors and have a buzz in system, but Friday proved that doesn't necessarily mean anything.

    by the way, I teach 4-6th grade so my children are not only aware of what happened, but totally comprehend the seriousness of the matter and I addressed lockdown procedures anyway.
    I WAS a proud member of the *I'm In My 20's and Hope to Be a Good Rider Someday* clique..but now I am 30!!!!!!!!!!!
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  11. #11
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    Jan. 9, 2007
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    so. chester co.
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    Default

    My daughter's school does practice Lockdown drills, and all but one door is locked during the day all of the others are on a passcode to enter. But one whole wall is windows and if someone wants in it is easy enough to break one of the huge windows. The only way to stop that from happening would be to have all of the windows on the ground level be bullet proof, and I don't think that is really in the schools budget. I am not sure what more our school could do. They have sent many emails home outlining some changes that they are doing, and they also said that they have some safety measures in place that will not be made public, so I can only hope that they are very prepared if God forbid anything were to happen. I have talked at length about the shooting with my 4th grader, she suprisingly has not asked if it could happen in her school, but she does understand that there are some people out ther that want to hurt others.
    It is a sad world when children are killed so some pathetic loser can have his name remembered when he decides to end his sorry life.
    I do wish the media would stop saying his name, all that is doing is showing the next crazy asshat that yes they will be remembered if they do something horrific.


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  12. #12
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    Feb. 21, 2009
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    Default

    Our P did make an announcement on the PA today. I thought it was very eloquent and good to hear. I had a discussion with my AP class, but none of my other students brought it up, which I found interesting.

    I don't think kids need to be brought up in fear, but the one thing I make sure my kids understand is that even if they think someone is joking, they have to tell a staff member. I try really hard to stress that to them. Our kids don't seem to be too fearful though. I teach in a school that is 7-12 in one building, though I only teach HS students.

    To me, even though the chances of having this occur at my school are slim, I would like to be as prepared as possible for any situation. We practice fire drills and tornado drills so I think it's right that we practice other emergency drills as well. I would like to see an evacuation drill where we go somewhere instead of just standing on the sidewalk in front of the school.

    I think how much you tell kids depends on their age. Obviously our HS students understand more than their elementary counterparts.
    No hour of life is wasted that is spent in the saddle. ~Winston Churchill
    For Hope, For Strength, For Life-Delta Gamma
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  13. #13
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    Jan. 14, 2006
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    Nashville, TN
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    Default

    I'm actually surprised. My 10 year reunion from HS was this year, so I've been out for awhile. After my Freshman year, we had an armed police officer at the front door and all other doors locked from the outside. (I suppose this was in response to Columbine.) Students had to show their IDs to leave at lunch and come back in. When a former student/guest came back to visit they were not allowed in the school until the final bell rang.

    I'm just surprised all schools did not pick up a similar system years and years ago.

    I'm from a smallish, fairly quiet suburb of Chicago.


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  14. #14
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    Mar. 30, 2007
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    Default

    My HS put up concrete barriers, a perimeter fence, and gates to the school perimeter and parking areas after Columbine, which happened while I was a student. One of the class members from the class behind mine transferred to Columbine when his family moved and was there for the shootings and he wrote an editorial in our school newspaper about the shooting. I don't remember what he said though.
    Thus do we growl that our big toes have,
    at this moment, been thrown up from below!



  15. #15
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    Sep. 7, 2009
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    Lexington, KY
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    Default

    I'm just so very glad my child is an adult. Her school was an idyllic place...doors unlocked, cats and dogs ran in and out of the pre-school and lower school. Kids could walk across campus in groups (always 3) without a teacher.

    Now it's locked up tight...at least the pre-school and lower school. Sad state of affairs.
    "We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals." ~Immanuel Kant


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  16. #16
    Join Date
    Nov. 13, 2005
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    between the mountains and the sea, North Carolina
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    Quote Originally Posted by dghunter View Post
    I went through ALiCE training as a requirement by my university for anyone in a K-12 education program. I can't recommend it highly enough. It stands for Alert, Lockdown, inform, Counter, Evade. It goes beyond typical lockdown procedures and teaches you what to do if, God forbid, someone does enter your room. It went through a demonstration of how much of sitting targets we are when we're all crouched in one corner of the room.

    One of the first things I did this morning was recommend the program to my P. He's going to talk it over with our superintendent. Even if we don't go through it as a staff, I feel better prepared having that knowledge. We do lockdown drills and think about locking the intruder out but what happens if he/she manages to get in or if he/she is already in (like at Chardon). Or when the shooting occurs in an open area.

    I would mention something if you feel you need to. I thought about not mentioning anything about the training I went through, but it literally could be a matter of life and death.
    Thanks for this post. I am currently applying for an MAT, and will definitely be looking into that program. As a hopeful potential teacher I've been a lot more affected by this than news of other shootings. Though they are all equally horrific, this one has really hit close to home for me. I cried watching the memorials this evening. I don't think there has been nearly enough awareness of violence towards school children and appropriate measures throughout the world. I remember teaching in South Africa we had "in case of emergency" plans for everything from snake bites to terrorist attacks. At the time I remember thinking some of them were overachieving and unnecessary, but now, not so much.

    After Virginia Tech my high school locked all exterior entry's (meaning you could go out but not in the building) but the main one, where the secretaries watched everyone who went in or out. The school community is TINY so they do know everyone. To my knowledge this measure has not been lifted.
    "Choose to chance the rapids, and dare to dance the tides" - Garth Brooks
    "With your permission, dear, I'll take my fences one at a time" - Maggie Smith, Downton Abbey


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  17. #17
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    Mar. 14, 2010
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    Earlysville, Virginia
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    Default

    I will definitely look into the ALiCE training and perhaps bring it up at my school. I hesitate to say it, but our P is not very experienced or hands on. She has no clue how to deal with children and is really just a figure head. Our vice P is amazingly better.

    Some counties around us are going much further with education and security. I'm left wondering why we aren't doing the same.

    I honestly have no idea what to say if one of my kindergarteners asks about it. I plan to chat with the counselor about that tomorrow. I really don't think it should just be avoided and/or ignored
    Charlie Brown (1994 bay TB X gelding)
    White Star (2004 grey TB gelding)

    Mystical Moment, 1977-2010.



  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by AliCat518 View Post
    I honestly have no idea what to say if one of my kindergarteners asks about it. I plan to chat with the counselor about that tomorrow. I really don't think it should just be avoided and/or ignored
    I can't remember which channel it was, but either CNN or NBC interviewed a psychologist who addressed this issue. He said that it is important not to avoid the subject with children, and he recommended letting them do the talking. He said it is important to realize that children often see/hear/understand way more than we think they do, and they need to have the opportunity to talk about it. He really emphasized letting them talk about their fears and concerns, as well as returning to "normalcy" as quickly as possible. He supported the school in Newtown going back tomorrow even though its nearly winter break.

    I wish I could remember the channel (I was at the gym and switched channels every time they brought up the shooter - I think Morgan Freeman has it right about not giving him any notoriety), but maybe if you do a search of those networks websites you'll find it. Though I am not yet a teacher nor am I a psychologist, I thought the guy had a lot of good points.
    "Choose to chance the rapids, and dare to dance the tides" - Garth Brooks
    "With your permission, dear, I'll take my fences one at a time" - Maggie Smith, Downton Abbey



  19. #19
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    May. 30, 2006
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    I work in multiple high schools. All of these schools have lockdown drills. I call them shooter in the building drills. Growing up pre-shootings, I find them to be bizarre, but necessary. Every high school has a plan.

    Last week, a teacher in one of the schools where I work found a gun belong to a student in the building. I was working elsewhere, but I got the skinny from a bunch of 9th graders today. The student told authorities that he didn't know it was illegal to bring a gun to campus-- a completely bizarre statement. The school was on complete lockdown for hours as a swat team searched the school classroom by classroom. There was a general idea or fear of another student shooter involved. Students told me that swat teams broke into classrooms yelling at students with guns drawn. Students also told me that they were made to leave campus without backpacks and that their stuff was searched. Apparently a number of students got in trouble for have drugs and paraphernalia on campus.

    The kids that I spoke to believe that this student intended to use his gun on students. It's a very real fear that people live with nowadays. School administrators take these school shootings very seriously.



  20. #20
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    Dec. 22, 2000
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    NY
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    Frisky- Yikes!

    Glad that story didn't end in a worse way.



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