The time has come, in the light of the tragedy that IS our schools to consider teacher control. In this case, the sort of control that forces teachers to think like rational human beings before going off half cocked and doing stupid things.
It might also be time to think of administrator control. A good first measure would be to say that no one not in possession of a brain that functions AT LEAST at cat level can be a school administrator. Above all, they will NOT be allowed to make any type of safety policies.
I live in Colorado, so I have been in doubt that my school system could or would protect my kids in the event of someone wishing to massacre school kids wholesale.
The problem, you see, was Columbine, followed by what has to be the most stupid set of rules ever created by man – or monkey. Or mongoose.
It started with my younger son’s preschool teacher, assuring us with tears in her eyes and voice, that she would willingly DIE for all or any of our kids.
Uh… First of all, this was a woman who couldn’t be bother to notice that my kid was bored out of his gourd, and who kept trying to get me to have him classified as autistic. (As far as I can tell because she had taken autism in school. Clearly not WELL. I mean, what she thought was a symptom was that Marshall would listen to instructions, then look to see what his classmates were doing, or ask a classmate what to do. That’s not autism. That’s deafness – which it proved to be, in a specialized form.) Second… I didn’t want her to DIE for my kid. I wanted her to prevent my kid being killed. Whether she died or not was, frankly, quite immaterial to me. I mean, I’d prefer people don’t get killed, but her getting killed or not was not a guarantee my kid wouldn’t also be – or not – killed. And her self-dramatization as “martyr for preschoolers” was seriously off-putting and meant – to me – that she wasn’t using her brain over this, but trying to think with her emotions.
Then she outlines the plan handed down by the administrators. Their plan, basically, is to – at the first sign of a threat – lock all the kids in the class.
I’m going to be blunt: in a school where the doors aren’t bullet – or strong kick – proof, locking the kids in the class just ensures if THERE IS a gunman, he can systematically go down the row of classrooms, kick the door, shoot everyone. Reload. Next classroom… Or throw a grenade in the there. Or…
In fact, I can’t conceive of a single circumstance in which locking the kids in, and keeping them all like sitting ducks in a group will keep them safe.
This is when I realized the system had gone nuts.
A) NOTHING in their plan prevented an attack like Columbine’s. In fact it could be said to facilitate that type of attack.
B) It allowed teachers to self-dramatize as protectors, even though most of them weren’t armed; couldn’t have shot a lame rat in a barrel; would have wet themselves at the sight of a gun; and would never think of doing those things that could/should be done to prevent an actual massacre. You know – throw books/desks/water/vase, then make a desperate rush at the gunman while he’s confused.
And that in a nutshell is where we’ve got. Because of some well-publicized massacres and because the emphasis is put on guns (Columbine involved bombs also, which fortunately failed to go off, and the worst school massacre in the US – unless I misremember – involved bombs only) this allows the bureaucratic mind to go … stupid.
Instead of genuinely trying to prevent casualties in the case someone with evil intentions comes into the school, they try to control THE STUDENTS. This is the equivalent of keeping everyone safe by preventing them from running with scissors, even if the scissors are desperately needed to cut a noose that’s strangling someone.
Keeping the students locked in classrooms does nothing but make it easier to identify the bodies. Oh, yeah, it also allows the school to say “We did everything we could. Ms. So and So died for her students.”
Then there is the fetishization of elements in whatever the latest well-publicized shooting. When I was picking up the kid from school, in a downpour (we had only one car. The school was five blocks away. We walked) wearing a raincoat, they made me stop, remove the (dripping) raincoat and FRISKED me, at gunpoint, because, you know, Columbine involved a “trench coat mafia” (turns out it didn’t, but that’s besides the point.) This of course meant that I, a middle aged mother of two was somehow a member of a highschool Goth clique fifty miles away.
When my friend’s kid wore a t-shirt to school showing a sword and “puncture marks” and saying “Dueling society, an ever diminishing group” (or something like that. It was a standard con t-shirt) they made him turn it inside out, because it “could be considered a threat” (in a madhouse. A threat is something like “I’ll kill you.” Not “Hey, I make jokes about a dueling society” – do these people even KNOW what dueling means?)
Then there’s the fact that these people have decided guns are what causes the deaths. Only guns. Not anything else.
This means that the kid who chews a poptart into the shape of a gun MUST be suspended; that the kid who wears a Marine Corps t-shirt to school is threatened with suspension that the student who disarms a gunman gets suspended and that singing the Fresh Prince of Bel Air’s theme song on your cell phone message can get you arrested.
This is not only insane, but counterproductive, and it comes totally from “bureaucratic mind and procedure.”
Note in the last article that they said everyone did what they were supposed to: so, mishearing lyrics, then arresting an innocent student, disrupting classes in the entire district and messing up people’s schedules is what the rules are DESIGNED to do?
Good to know.
Note that if the student had recorded a song – his or another – about shooting people after school, it still would not be evidence of anything, not even a vague intention to do so.
This is the type of thinking that had a teacher FROM A SCHOOL MY SON NO LONGER ATTENDED call us because “a concerned student” had called HER because my son was posting blues lyrics on his face book page and one of them referenced suicide. The teacher called us DURING SUMMER. And tried to bully us into taking the boy (who when the call came was goofing around with us on the subject of going out to play mini-golf) to a psychiatrist. BECAUSE HE QUOTED BLUES LYRICS, which he identified as blues lyrics, and was posting then analyzing in relation to the themes of blues.
Even when we pointed the context to the teacher, she insisted it was her “duty” to make us take our son to a psychiatrist. Because someone willfully misunderstood him.
I think it was NOT her duty, but her pleasure, to stick her nose in everyone’s business. And I think these rules ONLY encourage sticking their noses in everyone’s business. Instead of stopping potentially homicidal students (or people from outside) who, usually, are more careful about not giving themselves away, they only encourage teachers and schools to persecute kids (or parents) who are odd, who deviate from the norm, who behave in quirky or unusual (but completely harmless) ways.
They also encourage beating back any student disposed to fighting back or self defense.
In other words, all of these are tools for enforcing conformity.
Which is why we need teacher and administrator control. They need to be reminded sharply that their DUTY is to teach our kids academic subjects: not to raise them, not to “form” them, not to indoctrinate them, and certainly not to emasculate them.
Arm the sane teachers (yes, there are a few. More precious than rubies and rarer than diamonds, but a few in each school) and tell them it’s their duty to shoot any attacker. Then teach the kids to throw everything on hand at an attacker – NOT sit still and wait for death.
I don’t want the teachers to give their lives for my kids. I want them to fight back and defend my kids. And I want them to stop trying to stick their noses where they don’t belong.
They’ve forgotten they’re our employees and think they’re our (and our kids’) parents. It’s time to stop this crazy train.
And those who do things like bother parents at home in summer, over a student that doesn’t even attend their school; those who make kids turn innocuous t-shirts inside out, those who charge students for chewing a pop tart in the shape of a gun, and those who causes incidents over misheard lyrics, or charge someone for saving lives (because, well, he was near a gun. He’s “tainted”) need to be liable to criminal prosecution. Only then will this nonsense stop.