I used to think of my classroom as a safe place for my students and told them as much. So many students these days need to experience a stress-free environment even if only for a few hours every day.
Yesterday, hundreds to thousands of students went to their supposed safe place at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. Seventeen of those students lost their lives there. Still another fourteen experienced physical trauma from gunshot wounds. The emotional scars inflicted on those who survived will remain for years to come.
Today, politicians offered their well rehearsed lines – the lines they have uttered at the hundreds of other school shootings since the tragedy at Sandy Hook. Tomorrow we will probably hear elements of blame placed on reasons for why still another school shooting happened.
There has become a pattern of violence and insincere resolution in our country perpetrated by those having easy access to guns that have no earthly reason to be on our public streets and those who allow them to have access to them…
- Tragedy – shootings
- Political condolences
- Blame game
- Gun issue debate
- Debate drags on
- People forget
- Brief respite from shootings
- Another tragedy
There is no one reason on which to place the blame for these senseless crimes but rather a myriad of reasons that need to be discussed in a rational way without political affiliation or money generated concerns to guide ethical decisions. That said, it’s obvious that present administration politicians cannot satisfactorily meet en mass to discuss anything pertinent to the health and well-being of the people of the United States without adding a political bent to it. It should be obvious to all that after hundreds of school shootings since Sandy Hook that nothing will change unless the American voters start speaking up. Speaking up is done in any number of ways but the two most easily accessed is phoning and writing your representatives and senators. Be mindful that just one letter or call won’t suffice. If you want to be part of change in this country you have to be persistent.
To contact your elected officials find them at https://www.usa.gov/elected-officials
If you’re not convinced your voice will make a difference – consider this quote by Margaret Mead…
… and take a look at the statistics below…
Posted in child safety, classroom safety, Grades 6-12, Grades K-5, guns, guns in classroom, life lessons, making a difference, school shootings, Schools, Students, teacher awareness, teacher responsibilities, teacher safety
Tagged Florida, life lessons, Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, Parkland
It’s amazing that the NRA and gun enthusiasts eagerly tout placing guns in the hands of teachers in order for them to protect their students. Clearly, they have no concept of what a teacher is already responsible for in the classroom – especially when it comes to younger students.
A teacher’s role is that of educator, assessor, mother, father, nurse, counselor, nutritionist, self-esteem builder, protector, and role model in addition to a myriad of other roles. Regular education classroom student counts can range from 16 to 35 plus.
I have reflected on my classroom and my kindergarten students and as hard as I try to visualize a scenario where I would have to settle 17 frightened students long enough to retrieve a locked and loaded gun to better protect them, I can’t fathom it being physically possible.
Yes, I have a moral obligation to protect my students and I will always do that to the best of my ability. I also have a moral obligation to be the best role model that I can be for them. The thought of having my students see me or any other teacher or administrator (the good guys) with gun pointed at the bad guys is incomprehensible to me.
There are many strategies already in place in schools across the nation to protect our children. There are also many other cost-effective strategies that can be used such as bullet proof windows and entry doors which might buy the added time needed for a successful school wide lock-down.
The Sandy Hook tragedy has awakened the nation to the societal needs we all need to address to prevent future tragedies. Rather than escalate an already gun-infused society, let’s begin early on in a child’s life to identify and respond to the signs of impending future loss of control by focusing on a child’s physiological, social and emotional needs in addition to academic needs. A balanced approach addressing the needs of the whole child can lead to the successful completion of the educational journey in addition to providing the child a well-established sense of self-worth advancing a self-assured, productive member of society.
Posted in classroom safety, Grades 6-12, Grades K-5, guns in classroom, Higher Education, Schools, Students, teacher responsibilities
Tagged Classroom, Education, NRA, Sandy Hook, Student, Teacher, Utah