Archive | 11:47 pm

School Safety Seminar

14 Jan

I read an interesting article in the Belleville News Democrat’s Sunday (Jan 12, 2008) paper. What was interesting wasn’t the article itself, but rather, what was left unstated.

Last week here in Southern Illinois, the Madison County Regional Office of Education held a special seminar covering school shootings and crisis management. Almost the entire newspaper article covers the salacious and terrifying real-life story of the guest speaker, former Heath High School Principal Bill Bond from Paducah, Kentucky. He was principal during the school shooting that occurred in 1997, a year before Columbine.

Unfortunately, the rest of the article was essentially a quote from a school shooting expert stating that schools need to take the safety drill seriously; a separate quote from a local superintendent stating they only plan because they are forced to plan; and finally Bond stating that “teachers often look at drills as an inconvenience. ‘It’s your responsibility to let them know they have to take it seriously. When parents send you their kids, they’ve made the assumption, true or false, that you’re prepared for every contingency.'” [emphasis added]

People, I find this kind of article especially illuminating. I’ve worked at schools where we had practice drills like this. I even worked at a school where we had to use those practice skills. But this article is a scare tactic. They just about admitted that schools are not prepared for “every contingency”. And honestly, how can anybody be prepared for ANYTHING. That is unrealistic. I’m not saying that I don’t care about school shootings. When they happen, they are very tragic; a lot of people are changed forever.

Want to know something interesting. School violence are actually pretty rare. The article actually lists this fact in a separate box. It just gets lost amidst the heart pulling scare story.
Myth No. 10 School violence is rampant.
Only 12-20 homicides a year occur in U.S. schools, including gang- or dispute-related violence. School violence has dropped by half in the last decade.

Please, don’t let yourself fall for these scare tactics. They are really excuses to take more of your tax dollars and train you into thinking that you need the public school to take care of your kids. But really, think about if. If school violence is such an issue, where would be the safest place for your kids? In your home. You better believe it.