Archive for the ‘Newtown’ Category

Newtown shooting: Focusing on young black men in hoodies while ignoring young white men with Glocks

Veteran teacher Bob Fecho, now a reading education professor at the University of Georgia, writes about young men, violence and guns in the wake of the Newtown shooting:

I am a white male. I’ve been in education for nearly 40 years and for 24 of those years I taught in three different secondary schools in Philadelphia. The students in all those schools came from working class and working poor black families.

When I would tell other whites who I’d meet casually—a taxi driver or a sales clerk, for example—where I worked, I’d hear anything from the coded “It must be hard teaching them kids” to the bald “You should get a medal for teaching there.” I suspect they imagined a school running amok, with fights breaking out daily, gangs terrorizing teachers, and mayhem rampant. Such was never the case.

Instead, I would see how the young men I taught were frequently vilified in local media, how black on white crime was plastered across the 11 o’clock news, despite its low occurrence rate …

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Principals oppose efforts to allow them to carry guns in response to Newtown

A joint statement from the National Association of Secondary School Principals and the National Association of Elementary School Principals on allowing principals and teachers to carry guns in school:

In the aftermath of the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School, we all feel a desperate need to honor the memories of the victims and take steps to prevent such horror from happening again. In that spirit, many well-meaning policymakers are proposing to allow teachers and principals to carry firearms in school. As the professional organization for our nation’s principals, we strongly oppose such policies.

A principal’s first responsibility is to foster a safe, orderly, warm, and inviting environment. To be effective, schools must be perceived as safe havens where students want to be. The presence of armed school officials on campus conveys the opposite message to students and to the local community.

Is the school really safe, a parent might wonder, if the principal feels that he …

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Michigan governor vetoes concealed weapons in schools

Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder vetoed a controversial bill today that would have allowed gun owners to carry concealed weapons in schools, day care centers, churches and stadiums.

Senate Bill 59 permitted gun owners who receive additional hours of training to carry their weapons in formerly gun-free areas. We discussed the bill on the blog as it generated strong opposition from school boards and teachers’ groups, including the American Federation of Teachers.

“Firearms have absolutely no place in our schools—the Dec. 14th tragic massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., is a chilling and heartbreaking reminder of this. Twenty innocent young children have been robbed of their lives, many shot multiple times. Six public servants, who were trying to save these children, were murdered in an environment that should be considered a safe sanctuary for students, educators and school visitors,” wrote Randi Weingarten, AFT president, and David Hecker, president, …

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A local parent of a mentally ill child says: “Change our mental health system now before more blood is shed.”

In response to Newtown, a local parent sent this letter about her struggles getting help for her mentally ill son. At the parent’s request, I am not using any names:

The Sandy Hook tragedy should be a clear indication that our mental health system needs a complete overhaul. My husband and I adopted a child six years ago. We expected joy and love from our adopted child, but instead we have faced years of mental illness filled with rages and violence.

We have turned to psychologists, psychiatrists, therapists and our local school for help to no avail. I will give you a few examples so you will understand our situation. This past spring we endured hours of extreme raging and violence every day to the point where my biological son and I would have to hide in a closet. We made the difficult decision to have our son committed to Peachford Hospital. Within a week, he was home and the raging began again within 24 hours.

When I called the doctor and asked him how he could send …

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Noah Pozner of Newtown: Eulogy for a much loved and missed little boy

One of the first eulogies of the Newtown shooting victims, courtesy of the Associated Press.

A message read at the funeral of 6-year-old Noah Pozner by his uncle Alexis Haller, of Woodinville, Wash.:

On Friday, Dec. 14, we tragically lost a most beloved member of our family. Noah was a 6-year-old little boy, and he was so dear to all of our hearts.

Words cannot express the unfathomable loss we feel.

Noah was a wonderful son and a loving brother. He was kind, caring, smart, funny, and sometimes even a little mischievous. He liked to tell his sisters that he worked in a taco factory; when they asked him how he got to work, he would give them a funny look as if to say he knew something that they didn’t.

Noah was a little kid. He loved animals, video games and Mario Brothers. He was already a very good reader, and had just bought a Ninjago book at a book fair that he was really excited about reading. He was also very excited about going to a birthday party he had been …

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