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
To all my dedicated readers,
I thought about letting this blog go since I retired and then I decided to include retired teachers to the mix. New to retired teachers all have something to say and want to know what is happening nationwide in public and private education.There is much to be said about our educational system and much might be changed for the good if more people shared their great ideas, views, and great or maybe not so great experiences. Someone somewhere will be listening. So this is a shout out to all of my teaching and retired teaching extended family for experience and/or research backed posts to add to this blog. To this date my blog has had 7,878 hits and 344 followers and I haven’t posted an entry in two years. It’s time to get back on track. If you’d like to be considered for site publication, you may choose to include your real name or use a pseudonym. There is interest in what you all have to say and bottom line is – children need our help inside and outside the classroom! Margaret Mead said, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” You can message me with any questions you might have. Hoping to hear from you soon!
Posted in Back to school, education innovation, Grades 6-12, Grades K-5, making a difference, retired teachers, school systems, Schools, teacher awareness, Teacher Evaluation, Teacher Income, teachers
Tagged Education, K through 12, Professional development, retired teachers, school systems, Teacher
Sadly, this is not the first time I have written about a senseless act of gun violence. Having been a near gun victim myself, these events always stir in me a sense of helplessness against the blasé indifference of far too many politicians and gun enthusiasts who refuse to see the need for a major overhaul of gun laws and the mental health system our society is crying out for.
The purpose of this post however, is to praise the two teachers hailed heroes for having the presence of mind to save many more lives at the Grand Theater Complex and to remember the victims. Teacher Jena Legnon Meaux jumped in front of her colleague Ali Viator Martin taking the bullet headed for Ali. That action gave Ali the chance to pull the fire alarm prompting all theater goers to evacuate.
My first thought when hearing this is that their actions were not out of the norm for teachers. Split second decisions, but decisions that teachers train for. How can I save as many students as possible if I need to? Teachers are always aware of surroundings and thinking ahead in any arena.
It will come as no surprise to me if both Jena and Ali say they knew exactly where that fire alarm was. If fact, it will be no surprise to me to hear them say they chose their seats on the basis of where that fire alarm was.
Though their instinctive actions could not save the lives of two beautiful young women that night, their actions did save the lives of many more who might have unwittingly fallen prey to the shooter’s troubled soul.
Thoughts and prayers go out to all affected by this tragic event – those killed, those wounded, and their families and friends. Hopefully, we will all remember the lesson that teachers Jena and Ali so artfully taught us – to always be aware of our surroundings in today’s increasingly uncertain world.