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School Saftey Slipping?

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/15060698/

All these stories are making my question the safety standards for the schools our kids go to in this day and age. With all that is happening around the world and across the country should our saftey standard for schools be raised? I don't think the standards are high enough.
post #2 of 25
That is a terrible story. I live in a pretty small, quiet town. We have little crime here...the police blotter in the paper usually consists of someone shoplifting or a domestic dispute. And the occasional driving under the influence. But our elementary school is locked all day long, except the times that kids are entering or leaving. And at those times, there are multiple staff on hand.
The rest of the day, you walk past windows where the secretaries can see you, and click a speaker button to be buzzed in. Then you enter a hallway directly in front of the office. They also have a very stable office staff, so the ladies there pretty much know every kid and parent.
I do think schools and school bus systems across the world need to look at their safety protocols, and what they would do in an emergency.
Parents also need to teach their kids about safety, and dealing with difficult situations. I have been discussing these news stories with my 17 y/o son. Of course I don't think he could possibly ever be involved in such a situation, but at least this gives us an opportunity to discuss what to do if a kid says something threatening, or if a weird looking person is in the school.
post #3 of 25
I had read in previous articles that the shooter was in special education classes. I think that more and more, the schools are realizing the dreadful results of bullying. As kids become more and more cruel, the victims snap with more venom.
Far too often, the bullies are also the jocks and the school staff does intend to ignore the victims' complaints. My disabled daughter had to use her karate on a boy who continually harrassed her - it did work though, and the girl who also picked on my daughter got scared and stopped riding the bus, which helped greatly relieve the stress on my daughter. We had bullies when I was in high school - they were terrible - they even threw a used kotex on my leg. The bullies in my school would absolutely torment the special ed. kids - one day they shoved and tossed a crippled, retarded boy and that night, the boy died of an aneurysm - no discipline was done (all the perps were first-string, varsity football team) despite several petitions signed by many students who had first hand knowledge of the continual torment done to the deceased by the bullies. Lord knows what might have happened if the victims had been already "a little off" instead of just being girls (the bullies would clog the hallway, and grope girls as they were forced to walk by, etc.) and boys too disabled to put up any real defense.
post #4 of 25
That is just shocking! I'm sorry you had to deal with that, and your daughter, too!
post #5 of 25
That is absolutely sickening!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Well I can guarentee you that I will never let anything like that go unpunished when I am a teacher in 2.5 years. NEVER!!! I would rather lose my job then let that go on.
post #6 of 25
It's a downright shame what the schools are turning into. The only way this violence is going to be curbed is to turn the schools into prisons,with guards at each classroom and door. There is always something to pull a secretary from her desk....or a teacher from the classroom. It isn't going to stop....IMO it's only the beginning...it is going to get worse no matter what precautions are taken!
post #7 of 25
Strangely enough, being worried all the time about my children is the main reason I'm not having children..I can't imagine how I wouldn't go nuts worrying everyday about them..Especially how this world is coming along.
post #8 of 25
I've been a teacher since 1980, in the U.S. and Germany. While I can see why people are concerned about security at schools, I just don't think that increased security measures are really feasible. Many schools already have metal detectors, unannounced searches of lockers, requirements that all backpacks/school bags be transparent, etc.. Have they helped? A look at news reports shows that the answer is no.
I'm very much in favor of stricter gun control laws in the U.S. and Canada, but.... two of the most horrific school massacres took place in Dunblane, Scotland, and Erfurt, Germany. Both countries have very strict gun control laws. http://century.guardian.co.uk/1990-1...112749,00.html and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Johann_Gutenburg_massacre
I feel it's more important to keep the dialogue between students and teachers open, so that students feel comfortable about reporting mobbing, rumors, fears, etc.
post #9 of 25
The real things that will step up school security is training the staff AND students to be alert and willing to report anything that seems wrong. That definitely includes bullying. Bullying needs to be dealt with swiftly and from an early level (in elementary school), and regardless of what team the kid plays on, or who s/he is related to. Kids need to feel like they are safe to report when someone starts making threats against students/teachers/the school.

And everyone needs to be more alert and aware when a "stranger" is among them. Duane Morrison (the murderer in Bailey, Colorado) was vaguely noticed by a few people in the school, but NO ONE REPORTED HIM! My friend goes to her daughter's elementary school regularly to drop things off for her, or attend awards assemblies, etc. She always makes sure to follow the proper procedure to get a guest pass and wears it, but is amazed - every time - how many people just walk in and wander around the halls and go to the classrooms without ever being questioned. That's not right. And that is just miles from Columbine. The cops learned their lessons, but apparently some of the schools have, in fact, slipped.
post #10 of 25
I too do not think the standards are high enough....especially at private schools..you never really hear anything about them...but those are some of the easiest targets out there! I went to one growing up (the public school in my neighborhood had already had several shootings!). Anyone could just walk onto campus and into the rooms, no questions asked....it scares me. I think every school....public and private, has room for improvements as far as safety goes. As of right now, If i had a child...I could say for certain that I wouldn't be comfortble with the safety levels in the school systems at the moment.
post #11 of 25
It has happened again, this time at an Amish school in Lancaster County, PA.
http://www.cnn.com/2006/US/10/02/ami...cnn_topstories
post #12 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by jcat View Post
It has happened again, this time at an Amish school in Lancaster County, PA.
http://www.cnn.com/2006/US/10/02/ami...cnn_topstories
I was just going to post about this. What is with all of these school shootings? I can't remember ever seeing this many in such a short period of time. I swear if I had kids I would be really tempted to just pull them out of school right now, or at least go raise hell with the School Board about safety!
post #13 of 25
When I worked with the domestic violence shelter, we taught a class on bullying for elementary school students (we got to every student in every Chatham Co. public school every year) called "Hands Are Not for Hitting." One of the areas we strongly pushed was bullying children with special needs. I'm not sure of the program's success rate, but at least it was a widespread attempt to curb bullying in elementary schools. Like Heidi said, that is when education on bullying and noticing something wrong should start at the earliest levels. I'd love to know if more school systems were pushing the "Hands Are Not for Hitting" curriculum.
post #14 of 25
post #15 of 25
I think conflict resolution should be a mandatory course for all people. The guy who went into the Amish school was getting revenge for something that happened 20 years ago. The 15 year old who shot the administrator was upset because he got in trouble. What is WRONG with people that they think they have kill someone just because they are angry? Is that about the ultimate selfishness or what?!?
post #16 of 25
this is soo sad. how many people have to die??? what is the deal with all of the violence???....my sister and her family (while not Amish) used to live not to far from the Amish school where the shootings happened today. This is heartbreaking.....I worry a little bit every day about all of my family members in school...(I have a huge family)...Jcat- you have it right sweetie- this is a violent, and a tragic epidemic. My heart goes out to all of those families who have been touched by these tradgies....this is horrible
post #17 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by valanhb View Post
I think conflict resolution should be a mandatory course for all people. The guy who went into the Amish school was getting revenge for something that happened 20 years ago. The 15 year old who shot the administrator was upset because he got in trouble. What is WRONG with people that they think they have kill someone just because they are angry? Is that about the ultimate selfishness or what?!?
I agree with you. I am soo saddened by all of the school related violence that is affecting our world these days. It is soo heartbreaking to constantly see news coverage about such tragic events. I think EVERYONE should be made to have some sort of anger management and communication course...reguardless of age. If a person is unable to communicate with others...they resort to other means in which to get their message across and tradgy ensues...this is soo sad i'm watching news coverage on the Amish story as I type...
post #18 of 25
Is it me or does it seem like this stuff happens all at once. When was it, 98, 99 when all those school shooting happened??? We havn't had one, reported nationally, since then, now 3 in 3 weeks. Or is the media all of a sudden obsesed with the topic once again. I just don't know what else schools can do. Most have at least one armed guard, buzzers on the doors, you can only go to the office when you enter, sign the sign in sheet stating why you are inthe school and time in and out, and you must have a name tag on at all times. The last thing we want is to make school a prison.
post #19 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by eburgess View Post
Is it me or does it seem like this stuff happens all at once. When was it, 98, 99 when all those school shooting happened??? We havn't had one, reported nationally, since then, now 3 in 3 weeks. Or is the media all of a sudden obsesed with the topic once again. I just don't know what else schools can do. Most have at least one armed guard, buzzers on the doors, you can only go to the office when you enter, sign the sign in sheet stating why you are inthe school and time in and out, and you must have a name tag on at all times. The last thing we want is to make school a prison.
I was reading something the other day (I wish I could remember what, so I could reference it here) that said there is in fact a tendency for violent actions like school shootings to happen multiple times within a short period of time. I'm not sure why, unless the first incident spurs on the others, but it did indeed happen in 1999 as well: after the Columbine shootings, there were 5 other incidents (one in Alberta, one in Georgia, one in New Mexico, another in Oklahoma, and another one in the Netherlands). And actually, there have been four school shootings: a gunman killed himself and a young woman in Montreal, a student killed a principal in Wisconsin, there was the shooting last week in Bailey, Colorado, and now this. Let's hope this is the last of it.
post #20 of 25
I think this is awful and I think we have to make greater strides to make the schools safe through stopping bullying and through security systems in the schools. I was really quiet in school in grade school so I was bullied and even my dad had the reaction of its just kids being kids when I would tell him what they said he would say well just ignore it and its almost impossible when your own sister participates in the bulling. But I was a strong person and I pushed past it. Not everyone is so lucky so I think they need to educate everyone about bulling including the parents on how to help their kids.
post #21 of 25
If there were clear consequences for bad acts, people might think twice before attempting them. The judicial system is so wishy-washy with punishments...

But in these cases, the shooters were too chicken-s*** to deal with the consequences of their own actions, they took their own lives. That is another sad aspect of these cases, there will be no punishment so it prevents someone from learning a lesson about what will happen to you if you do something like this.

This is in IMO, of course.
post #22 of 25
Yup, all they learn is that if you kill yourself alone, no one notices. If you take out a school in the process, the whole world knows your name. I guess everyone wants their 15 minutes of fame.
post #23 of 25
I live twenty miles from Jonesboro, AR which is where the Westside shooting took place in 98 (don't know if any of you remember that or not). I was in middle school myself, but in a different school district. I remember how horrifying it all was. My dad's neighbors little girl stood right beside her best friend and watched her get shot in the head. I don't know what's wrong with society today. I don't know if you blame it on parenting, the media, the school systems or what. Where do you begin??

Just today a school about 10 miles from here was under lockdown all afternoon because a boy was spotted on the roof with something black in his hand. It turned out to be a screwdriver. Its insane. At least someone was smart enough to report it.

A big problem is that most schools don't have enough funding to put in even decent security systems. Most schools around here are barely scraping by as it is. I never considered home schooling for my future children because of the social handicaps it could possibly cause, but when things like this are happening more and more everyday, it really makes you fear for your childrens safety.
post #24 of 25
It's sickening how these incidents put wild ideas into peoples heads! I just returned from picking up my daughter at high school after a homemade bomb exploded in math class!!! They will not give any details....but rumor is that four were transported to hospitals!! And our town is very small, just 12,ooo people! We have the right to know what's going on in our country...but all the attention from the media just seems to make it worse! We HAVE to be aware...and informed! But look what it does!! Copycats abound!!!!
post #25 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by eburgess View Post
Is it me or does it seem like this stuff happens all at once. When was it, 98, 99 when all those school shooting happened??? We havn't had one, reported nationally, since then, now 3 in 3 weeks. Or is the media all of a sudden obsesed with the topic once again.
My dad calls it 'broken rail syndrome'*. Currently in UK we have a flush of stories about dogs attacking children. This follows an awful incident where a child was killed by two dogs. Now the media are picking up every story about dog attacks and making a big story out of something they would normally ignore.

There is also the copycat effect - this would particularly apply to murderers I expect. People might indeed want their bit of fame. In a world where governments seem to be choosing violence as their first response, we shouldn't really be surprised that this spills down into society.

*he calls it this because we will see a story about a broken railway line causing an accident, it will then be followed by many other stories about broken rails, most minor. He says broken rails happen all the time, the media just get obsessed by them once in a while and can't shut up about them.
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