Newtown shooting: Should schools discuss it today with students? If so, how? Local schools taking extra precautions.

Update at 11:35 a.m: If you are willing to talk to an AJC reporter about what security measures schools are putting in place today or what measures you think they should be putting in place, please email Jeffry Scott.

The Newtown school shooting dominated conversation throughout metro Atlanta this weekend. It was referenced at concerts, sporting events and churches. Neighbors talked about it on the street. People mentioned it while waiting in line at the mall.

Should it continue to be talked about today in school?

On Friday, students were largely unaware of the horrific mass murder at Sandy Hook Elementary by an apparently deranged young man who killed his mother and then slaughtered 26 people at the school, including 20 first graders, before turning the gun on himself.

My twins are in eighth grade and have read about the deaths both in the AJC and online. They grabbed the newspapers Saturday and Sunday morning and read the front page stories.

A thoughtful teacher posted this note, which raises important questions. I imagine many teachers are having the same concerns about how today will play out in their schools:

Monday will be difficult for those of us in the classrooms. We teachers began to hear “rumors” on Friday during school, as news like this travels fast – there is a heightened sense of alertness – just in case someone decides to copycat. However, the children were still innocent, so we could carry on with making the little holiday decorations and winter play practice – and if teachers’ smiles trembled a bit around the edges, who noticed?

But come Monday, that innocence will be gone. How do I make them feel safe in a world gone so insane? How do I make it all make sense for them, when I can’t make it make sense for me? How do I look into their bright, questioning eyes without crying for lost innocence and lost lives all over again?

This one hit so close to home for me.

Lord, lend me strength.

The AJC is reporting this morning that schools are taking extra security.

But a teacher sent a clarification about Briarlake Elementary in DeKalb: The teacher wrote that the “school is requiring that teachers have their door locks engaged at all times, not that they need to have their doors locked and closed at all times. Teachers have to use a key to lock the door, so the principal wanted to eliminate that step in the event of a lockdown. Classroom doors are still open, as usual, and there is no awareness of this step by any of the children.

According to the news story:

School districts throughout metro Atlanta are taking extra precautions to assure parents that classrooms are safe after Friday’s fatal shooting at a Connecticut elementary school.

As part of an emergency plan developed years ago, Gwinnett County will assign an officer to each of the county’s 102 public schools in addition to the school resource officers. “In light of what happened in Newtown, Conn., people want to feel safe, their kids want to feel safe. This is one step that Gwinnett police take to ensure that safety,” Sgt. Brian Doan of the Gwinnett County Police Department said.

At Briarlake Eelementary in DeKalb County, the principal sent an email to parents saying that teachers will now be required to lock their classrooms at all times. “You’re kind of apprehensive, but you have got to have faith that the kids will be safe at a place that they’re supposed to be safe,” DeKalb County parent Johanna Hillman said.

Clayton County will not only add patrols, but there will be extra parent volunteers in the hallways and students will be limited in terms of their movement in between classrooms.

–From Maureen Downey, for the AJC Get Schooled blog

52 comments Add your comment

Pardon My Blog

December 17th, 2012
6:22 am

Unfortunately we are all being overly bombarded with seeing this story over and over again and parents should be limiting the amount of exposure to this story because the more they hear it the more anxious they will become. If I were a teacher, I would try to stick to the regular routine and for all age levels, let the students have a brief time for discussion. Let them express their thoughts and remember it will not be one and done. They are likely to bring it up for at least several days. As a parent who had a child on campus at Virginia Tech that fateful day in April, this will affect the kids (and parents) differently but the best advice I can give is be there to answer questions and do what we did yesterday, turn OFF the tv! I think the worse thing the schools can do is have armed policeman all over the place, I believe it could do more harm than good.

Attentive Parent/Invisible Serfs Collar

December 17th, 2012
6:33 am

What happened in Connecticut breaks my heart. If I knew who in NC had donated the 26 trees to be decorated with teddy bears, I would nominate them for grace in a tragic situation.

But to get a phone call Friday afternoon from a school superintendent I will nickname Mendacious who is trying to do everything possible to implement the kind of psychologizing classroom changes that Colorado and Kentucky and Connecticut have been aggressively implementing statewide since the early 90s with tragic effects was like throwing salt in an open wound.

Transformational outcomes based education and positive behavior systems and a whole child approach and what Spence Rogers and Willard Daggett are selling in professional development is not knowledge. It’s not academics.

So hearing assurances that “everything possible is being done” from administrators trying to figure out every way possible to breach the classroom door to tell teachers how they must interact with the children. And that they must not lecture. And that reading is a matter of guessing strategies. And that disparage putting up pictures of the “Top Ten” in the senior class at the school entrance because it overemphasizes academic achievement is not comforting.

It’s hypocritical. To make education about coercion to implement political and psychological theories with a tragic past and renaming the policies every time there is a tragedy and then proceeding anyway is a huge part of what has changed in the US over the last 25 years.

We don’t know precisely what caused Lanza to go back to his old elementary school but what I refer to as “place based rage” seems to be a byproduct of all this psychologizing of students in classrooms and at schools. I do know what Ct has been pushing in its classrooms since it adopted the Common Core of Learning in the early 90s. This determination to change who students are and what they value and believe at an unconscious level. From the inside-out. The “relevance makes rigor possible” emotionalizing of curriculum needs to stop.

But words of comfort from someone looking for “deep and continual personal change in the individual student” anytime such intrusion creates a tragedy is not acceptable.

We have been playing with fire in education for decades but not everywhere. Now it is being mandated nationally through definitions of Effective Teaching, classroom evals, and the accreditors definition of what is Quality in the classroom.

Talking about the Tragedy while continuing to implement the implicated policies and practices in every one of these situations I have looked at means this will only get worse. And perhaps even more common.

We owe it to the precious children and the adults who tried to protect them in Newtown to do a real forensic investigation into what is happening that is such a change.

Martina

December 17th, 2012
6:49 am

I found this posted on a teacher bulletin board I belong to and plan to follow it:

I really don’t want to address the shooting and plan to only if my one student with no filter brings it up.But, here’s what I plan to say to my kids:
You first need to talk to your parents about what happened.
You need to know that things like this are rare.
You are safe here at this school. We have plans to keep you safe and I will do anything in my power to keep you safe. If you have questions, you can talk to me privately or your parents. But I really want you to discuss this with your parents before me.
Also I want to tell them that if there are students who do not want to talk about it, they have that right. They should not be talking about it like it’s a good thing. Its a sad event that happened in our country. I really want to keep it short and to the point. I don’t want to give the details. I know that will just increase the fear in my students.

I plan to address it at the beginning of the day, and then move on with our regular schedule. I think making a big deal about it will make them feel less secure and make them dwell on “what if it happens here”. I just want to stress to them that all the adults at our school’s first job is to keep them safe and we will do anything in our power to do that. But any lengthy discussion or question and answer needs to be addressed to their parents. I don’t want children whose parents have chosen to shield them from some of the details to be exposed to some of my students going on and on about it.

catlady

December 17th, 2012
6:55 am

I DO think teachers need to talk about it. Some teachers will need to reassure their students as best they can. Others need to talk about prevention–telling a teacher or other adult if their friend seems “disturbed” in language or action.

I work with younger students. I will talk about it if they bring it up. Too many, I fear, have had a weekend of “guts and glory” talk from their parents. I hope they can be reined in.

I expect someone on this blog to say, “If that had been a charter school, …” Stuff it, mates.

Fred in DeKalb

December 17th, 2012
7:14 am

I agree with Martina. Address it if students bring it up. The age of the students should factor in the depth of the discussion. Otherwise asssure them they are safe and continue as usual. More than likely the students have seen or heard countless strories about this over the weekend. Hopefully parents have already discussed this with their children. Perhaps doing school work will allow students to return to some sense of normalcy.

As we discuss and analze this over and over in our quest to understand, find answers and perhaps solutions for reducing the likelihood of future incidents like this, I believe it will become evident

There is enough blame to go around….

redweather

December 17th, 2012
7:20 am

I am not sure about teachers of elementary school children, but those of middle and high school students should certainly discuss this. Students should be challenged to discuss their views on guns and the treatment of the mentally ill. Begin the dialogue.

Mountain Man

December 17th, 2012
7:24 am

I don’t think teachers should bring it up, but I DO think there should be a discussion if a student brings it up.

A lot of suggestions have been made about “hardening” schools to make them more difficult to get into. I remember when my son attended (briefly) an elementary school in Cherokee County (this was late 90’s). The students were housed in trailers set up outside the main school building. There was no fence between the entrance road and the trailers. The trailers did not have bathrooms. How can you protect something like that? If local school leaders (I use that term loosely) don’t even care enough to supply a real brick-and-mortar school building for each student, how are they going to care about enhanced security. I know, they will provide “all the security we can afford on our budget”.

Maude

December 17th, 2012
7:28 am

I teach kindergarten I will not bring up the subject, but if a child does I will address it in an age apppropriate way. A child must have their questions and fears discussed. I have prayed all weekend that if I have to discuss this with my students I will do it in the best way for them.

What's Best for Kids???

December 17th, 2012
7:47 am

Age appropriate. I don’t hink that the little ones even understand exactly what happened. I told my five year old that a bad man went into a school and hurt a lot of people. I said that if she had any questions, she could talk to me or her daddy. That’s all that needs to be said…and listen to your teachers and do what they say.
In the high school where I am, I will talk with the kids if they want to talk about it, but I am not equipped to deal with this kind of tragedy.
Teachers are not psychologists. Teachers are not counselors. We can listen, but we are do not take the place of those professionals who can deal with these things. Nor should we be asked to do so.

Grasshopper

December 17th, 2012
7:53 am

A sad day for these victims and their families.

And more fodder for the ‘grief porn’ industry.

Stop sensationalizing these crimes. Enough with the prime time Presidential speeches and wall-to-wall coverage with every ‘expert’ and tangential witness offering up their sorrow and shock. Stop giving the psychos want they want.

A reader

December 17th, 2012
7:56 am

My daughter is in high school and she has finals this week. I believe most high schools in the metro area have finals this week. I do not think it is appropriate for high teachers to discuss the shooting during finals.

I believe that parents of many of the youngest students have been able to successful shield or minimize exposure of this tragedy. For this age group I believed the best path for teachers is reassurance and then distraction.

For the students in between, I believe this would be a good time to review various safety plans, in particular what to do during a lock down.

independent thinker

December 17th, 2012
8:07 am

How about every high school teacher discussing displaced anger of teenagers and easy access to guns.They may be shocked by what they find out. Or discussing parents who have opted out of their teenager’s lives because their offspring are a headache for their perfect lives. Lanza’s father stepped out of his life when he divorced the mother and has not even claimed his son’s body. Yeah absentee parents, violence on TV, violent video games, gun culture, social isolation and rejection. Good topics for every high school class.

Pride and Joy

December 17th, 2012
8:13 am

The experts say NOT to discuss it with small children. For older children, who are likely to hear about ir from social media it is appropriate to tell them what happened but to make the message to them that they are safe. Tell them you have plans to follow in an emergency.

Middle School Teach

December 17th, 2012
8:17 am

I teach 6th and 7th graders, and my kids want to talk about it. If they ask questions I will because I feel the need to do so as a teacher. I know I will approach it as need be.

Concerned DeKalb Mom

December 17th, 2012
8:21 am

I trust that the vast majority of teachers know how to handle this issue in an age-appropriate fashion. High school conversations are very different than kindergarten ones. And if I were betting, I’d bet kids of all ages will bring it up in class today.

I spoke to my 2nd and 4th grade children this morning before they left for school. I wanted to reassure them while also giving them the facts so that they know what is true and what has been embellished. We talked about their school and what they are doing to keep things safe for them. We also talked about the fact that they may practice “safety drills” this week as a result.

Parents who don’t want to the schools to address the shooting shouldn’t send their kids to school today. In a school of 400-2000 children, kids are going to talk–as will teachers. Students with excellent teachers will feel safe to ask questions. I didn’t want my children headed to school to be completely blindsided. That’s my role as a parent.

redweather

December 17th, 2012
8:21 am

@grasshopper, The grief “porn industry”? Man, you’re in denial about something and I’m not sure I want to know what it might be.

Roekest

December 17th, 2012
8:22 am

I’m with Grasshopper:

“And more fodder for the ‘grief porn’ industry. Stop sensationalizing these crimes. Enough with the prime time Presidential speeches and wall-to-wall coverage with every ‘expert’ and tangential witness offering up their sorrow and shock. Stop giving the psychos want they want.”

Roekest

December 17th, 2012
8:24 am

@redweather:

He’s not in denial. Like a lot of us, we’re sick of the media playing this things over and over. How much can we relive this horrible event? We should grieve for the kids, their parents, and everyone but the killer involved, but we shouldn’t play it over and over like a broken record.

It’s time for us to shut our traps and grieve. That goes for the media first and foremost.

redweather

December 17th, 2012
8:41 am

@Roekest, I can’t agree with you.

Should we tell children that a young man, armed with an assault rifle and other firearms, forced his way into an elementary school and murdered twenty first-graders and six teachers before taking his own life?

Should we tell children that it is legal in this country to possess an assault weapon capable of firing 100 bullets in a matter of minutes if not in a matter of seconds?

Should we tell children that once upon a time this country banned assault weapons like the one used by the Newtown shooter?

Should we tell children that some of their parents firmly believe that concealed deadly weapons should be allowed in schools?

Should we tell children that every year in this country as many as 30,000 people, many of whom are children, die as a result of gun violence?

Should we tell children that we have no effective laws preventing mentally ill persons from obtaining guns?

Should we tell children that what just happened in Newtown has happened before and will happen again?

Sooner or later they need to know.

D

December 17th, 2012
8:53 am

It is an over reaction to lock the Briarlake Elementary school classrooms at all times. That is a decision that should come from the county administration.

Concerned DeKalb Dad

December 17th, 2012
9:01 am

I have an 8 and 11 year old. They don’t watch the news because of the sensationalist coverage that goes for news these days. However, there are many kids out there who watched this thing for hours on end over the weekend, I’m sure even in my third grader’s class. Therefore, I told my two the basics. I controlled the message as much as I could, then told them – your teachers probably don’t want you talking to your friends about this. And, if your friends bring it up and you don’t want to talk about it, tell them you don’t want to talk about it. We can empower our kids without telling them every gory detail.

Locking every classroom is definitely an overreaction. However, at Evansdale this morning there were NO – ZERO – adults outside during carpool. Definite under-reaction.

bu2

December 17th, 2012
9:09 am

I think Martina has the right response.

This should be up to the parents, especially at the elementary age. They know their children best. Ours haven’t seen it yet and we hope they do not. Even at middle school, the schools should leave it to the parents.

High schoolers will probably talk about it. But the teachers don’t need to start the conversation. Many students would probably prefer not to talk about it.

Elementarymom

December 17th, 2012
9:11 am

I would imagine that children will have questions this morning regarding Friday’s tragedy and some will want/need to feel some level of reassurance that they are safe and protected in school. I think Friday’s massacre was a painful and unfortunate loss of innocence for kids, parents and educators, in that the one place that we felt was a “safe zone” was vulnerable. That being said, as the mom of a 1st grader, yes, my husband and I told her in age appropriate terms about what happened on Friday and used it as a teachable moment in two ways. First, we prayed together as a family for all of those whose lives were lost or affected by the senseless act of violence. Second, we used it as a way to emphasize the importance of her paying attention and following directions of her teachers and especially during fire and safety drills. Why did we tell her? Because it was not the school’s responsilbility to do so and we wanted to be there to answer her questions and reassure her.

I pray that we all use this as an opportunity to stop taking life for granted. It is a huge, huge, gift, that should be treasured. Be kind to one another, please.

bu2

December 17th, 2012
9:12 am

@redweather
I see. You want to utilize the tragedy to indoctrinate young children with your political views.

All teachers should realize this isn’t about their feelings. Its about the children. Many teachers are probably feeling a lot of anxiety. But don’t relieve it with the children.

Centrist

December 17th, 2012
9:15 am

There is no reason to discuss this with students since they are defenseless along with Principals and staff. Teachers and staff are undoubtedly being trained on how to hide/ barricade students to slow down an armed predator. Thank goodness there may be some added armed security as a result.

Of course training and arming qualified staff would be an added layer of protection, but liberals will successfully resist this until more innocents are slaughtered by deranged suicidal copy cat killers.

Ga Tech Rules

December 17th, 2012
9:20 am

Maybe in grades 1-4, but not in older grades. Too many kids have been desensitized to violence by the “first person shooter” video games, if they also have mental health problems, a class discussion could them off on a copy cat spree. When the video game makers replaced space ships with human looking victims in their shoot em up video games, they began to reprogram the human brain in evil ways, at least among a certain subset of children. Combine the dehumanizing video games with easy access to fire arms, and underlying mental instability and you have the formula for more tragedy.

D

December 17th, 2012
9:20 am

Bu2 is correct on this.

Grasshopper

December 17th, 2012
9:24 am

“I see. You want to utilize the tragedy to indoctrinate young children with your political views.”

Ding…ding…ding! We have a winner!

Using tragedy to push media ratings and manipulate public opinion and policy is what the ‘grief porn’ industry is all about. Check out Bookman’s column today for proof. Lots of pictures of people grieving over teddy bears and of a gun – but strangely, barely a mention of the person that actually committed the crime.

Redweather is either too dense to get that or part of the industry itself.

GT Alumna

December 17th, 2012
9:27 am

I just want to comment on the other stories in the AJC regarding the security plans of local school systems. Cobb County is quoted as saying you have to be buzzed into the elementary schools. Nope. Not at my daughter’s school. I can waltz right in. They also stated something about the security personnel in high schools. My son’s school has one security officer (at least that I’ve seen) and (to put it bluntly) I could outrun her based on how out of shape she looks.

I’m not saying we should all go nuts like Briarlake, but I think we should have healthy skepticism to the propaganda the school systems spew on a daily basis.

redweather

December 17th, 2012
9:29 am

@bu2 & Grasshopper, Indoctrinate? The facts speak for themselves.

My goodness...

December 17th, 2012
9:31 am

Martina is right on the money. Parents need to discuss this with their kids if questions come up and educators can play a big role in getting parents back to being parents. You never know how many disengaged parents could be re-engaged by an event like this. We have to start making parents be parents and not pushing everything onto teachers and schools. Great opportunity here.

Don't Tread

December 17th, 2012
9:37 am

“Gwinnett County will assign an officer to each of the county’s 102 public schools in addition to the school resource officers.” The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun (police officer or otherwise). Gwinnett County gets it.

“Clayton County…students will be limited in terms of their movement in between classrooms” Wrong. Limiting freedom is never the right answer. (But these are the same people who voted in that corrupt sheriff…were we expecting a different outcome?)

This is yet another example of why “California parenting” doesn’t work. Kids need to be raised by parents that enforce boundaries and rules by punishing violations, not by video games, television, and “anything is ok” attitudes.

Private Citizen

December 17th, 2012
9:46 am

What I’d really like to say: “Well kids, now you (and I) know how a lot of kids feel in some places in the world. Everybody get out a piece of lined notebook paper and write down what you think is the cause of why this happened and what you think should be done. You may either free-associate and write a stream of conciousness, or organize your thoughts with an outline, your choice.”

(or type and turn in your work by email / wi-fi)

Private Citizen

December 17th, 2012
10:05 am

process -> produce -> move on!

dahreese

December 17th, 2012
10:11 am

This tragedy should not be allowed to overshadow today’s lessons in our schools.

That is not to say we all do not feel the pain of those families involved. All over the nation we share that pain – as evidenced by the discussions currently on this thread.

One could ask if these children had all died in a school bus accident would it get the kind of sensational media coverage it has received?

The answer is “No.”

Tragedies committed by our military happen to children in other countries and our media doesn’t even blink.

And there seems to be as much attention focused by the media on the fact that this tragedy was committed via an assault weapon as much as the tragic deaths of the children.

In our schools, let us acknowledge the tragedy of the children, their families and friends, the shooter, and get on with the lessons.

The average teacher is not qualified to lead a discussion over this tragedy.

Additionally, to the teacher in Clarke County who laughed a few weeks ago about the need for security in our schools, I wonder if you’re laughing now?

CTPAT

December 17th, 2012
10:29 am

I talked to my second grader about it briefly because I didn’t want her to hear it from a classmate and it was mentioned on every media outlet all weekend and this morning, even mostly music radio stations, and I knew she’s hear or read something about it, but I did not talk to my kindergarten student about it and really hope that her teacher doesn’t mention it either. If teachers talk to their students about it, I’d appreciate it if they sent an e-mail to parents letting them know so that we can address further at home if needed.

indigo

December 17th, 2012
10:37 am

I know what the fundamentalist Christians do.

“Now children, don’t you worry. We’re only strangers here. Heaven is our home”.

Teacher

December 17th, 2012
10:55 am

Comfort and reassurance is not found in the common core standards. Wait what? You want teachers to be humans and do more than just test prep their students? But, you only want to hold them accountable and evaluate them based on test scores and if they have their EQ on the board? You want more online courses and “elearning”, but you also want someone to emotionally help your kids through trauma? I can guarantee you that no computer will never stand up and keep your children safe during a crisis. And I can guarantee you that no computer will ever help your child deal with emotional trauma. I would welcome the usual teacher bashers on this site to come out and ridicule and demean the heros in Newtown.

Teach

December 17th, 2012
10:55 am

My high school students are taking final exams. Unless one of my students wants to discuss it after everyone finishes the exam, we will not be talking about the horrible incident. My prayers go out to the Newtown community.

Ole Guy

December 17th, 2012
10:55 am

Discuss the situation, in all it’s totality, with the kids.

Some of the folks in bloger land may recall the “duck and cover” days of the 50s era Cold War. For many of us 3rd/4th/5/th graders (yours truly included), these sessions were simply an exercise period; a time to get away from Sister Meanface’s blatherings. One day, Sister Meanface took the time, following one of them “duck an cover” drills, as a teaching moment. She spoke of the horrors which were sure to follow, should those “Ruskies” get friskie. I am quite certain her talk may have been cause for a few kids becoming upset, however, in the years to follow, I came to realize that, despite the beauty of life, we live in, essentially, a “mean ole world” where situational awareness, on the global scale, can never be introduced at too early an age. Does this knowledge; this level of awareness somehow impinge upon the innocence of youth? Quite possibly. Then again, this level of awareness just may cause a generation of future adults to manage the Earth just a little better than we have.

Private Citizen

December 17th, 2012
11:00 am

The media is kind of in a Catch 22. If they do not cover it, they are insensitive. If they cover it, they sensationalise it, so to speak.

catlady

December 17th, 2012
11:01 am

State trooper here today. Sez Gov. ordered them to visit each school twice today. Sheriff’s deputies here also, walking around. Think it is freaking the kids out.

Janet

December 17th, 2012
11:05 am

I talked to my 5 and 7 year olds about it. I didn’t want them to hear from someone else first and it was pretty much an unavoidable topic of you watched any television this weekend (even the Sunday policical shows). My 5 year old said that if a bad man came into his school, he would just karate chop him. That’s the innocence of little kids for you. It is just inconcievable to him that a grown up would really hurt kids on purpose. My 7 year old preferred to stay quiet on the subject. She did see some of the news coverage and could see the fear on their faces Newtown and the tears in my eyes. I think she will take a few days to process what happened and then probably start asking questions.

Where was DAD?????

December 17th, 2012
11:13 am

@independent thinker. Amen to the cowardly father.

I’ve seen numerous situations with difficult children in the home (terminal illness, mental illness, developmental issues, autism, etc) where the stress takes a toll on the parents and the family. Time and time again one parent takes off and frees him/herself from the situation by saying the “marriage” is over as if that also relieves him/herself of the obligations to the children who need even more help!

So “Dad” in the Newtown case gets to go off, get a new family. Happy for him. The mother of his children, who was the last one standing as the sole parent for a mentally ill child, is now dead – along with his own child and 26 other people.

Just A Teacher

December 17th, 2012
11:24 am

It depends on the age of the students.

Pride and Joy

December 17th, 2012
11:33 am

I agree with Roekest. Teachers shouldn’t tell the children anyting and let the parents handle it.
I have gone to some lengths to protect my child from this information and I would be furious if a teacher overstepped her bounds and told my children.
Teachers don’t own the children they teacher. Students belong to their parents. It is for we to decide when, if and how we tell our own children.

Greg Kaiser

December 17th, 2012
11:41 am

Some of the posters here seem to be grouping “kids” into one, all-inclusive age group. The way you address this varies greatly with the age of the child asking the questions.

The National Association of School Psychologists has some very helpful, concise information on how to address violent events with students at various ages. Our headmaster here at Holy Innocents’ Episcopal School sent it to all of our parents last Friday. I highly recommend that parents and teachers who are looking for some guidance take a look at it.

http://www.nasponline.org/resources/crisis_safety/talkingviolence.pdf

Jessica

December 17th, 2012
11:51 am

I can’t imagine how hard it must be for teachers to address this with their students, especially little ones. It must be difficult for the grown-ups in charge to assure the kids that they are perfectly safe, especially when the adults don’t feel sure of that.

I can understand why people are demanding more gun control, but I honestly don’t think it would work. Practically speaking, there is no way to effectively enforce such laws in this country. We can’t keep drugs or illegal immigrants out, so how could we reasonably expect that a ban on guns would work? Criminals would still have guns, and decent, law-abiding citizens would be even more vulnerable.

Trying to legislate away evil is like trying to cure a flesh-eating disease with a band-aid. We need to address the underlying problem: what is it about our culture that allows and even encourages young men to become violent monsters?

Cammi317

December 17th, 2012
12:51 pm

My daughter’s school e-mailed a memo this morning regarding the shooting and reminding everyone to follow the safety protocols that are in place in the school. I believe it was also addressed in morning assembly/devotion. She is in private school, so it would have included children from Pre-K through High School. I see several people do not believe that elementary aged children should be addressed, but this tragedy happened at an elementary school. If nothing else, what to do if someone starts shooting in the schools should be addressed. My daughter is a freshman and we discussed it on Friday, but neither of us watch a lot of live broadcast television so unlike other posters on here, we were not innudated with the details all weekend long.

The Deal

December 17th, 2012
1:03 pm

@ D, Brialake Elementary is requiring that teachers have their door locks engaged at all times, not that they need to have their doors locked and closed at all times. Teachers have to use a key to lock the door, so the principal wanted to eliminate that step in the event of a lockdown. Classroom doors are still open, as usual, and there is no awareness of this step by any of the children.